Exit-deutschland Digital, DM, Case study TROJAN SHIRT by Grabarz & Partner Hamburg

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Industry Public awareness
Media Digital, Interactive & Mobile, Direct marketing, Case study
Market Germany
Agency Grabarz & Partner Hamburg
Creative Director Ralf Nolting, Ralf Heuel
Copywriter Anna Wilhelmi, Christian Moehler
Account Supervisor Ina Bach
Released February 2012


Cannes Lions 2012
Direct Lions Best Low Budget Campaign Silver
Outdoor Lions Small Scale Special Solutions Silver
Direct Lions Public Health & Safety, Public Awareness Messages Bronze

Credits & Description

Type of entry: Strategy
Category: Best Low Budget Campaign
Product/Service: EXIT GERMANY
Executive Creative Director: Ralf Heuel (Grabarz & Partner)
Creative Director: Ralf Heuel (Grabarz & Partner)
Art Direction: Sebastian Kuehn (Grabarz & Partner)
Copywriter: Anna Wilhelmi (Grabarz & Partner)
Copywriter: Christian Moehler (Grabarz & Partner)
Idea/Concept: Philipp Schwartz (Grabarz & Partner)
Idea/Concept: Sebastian Kuehn (Grabarz & Partner)
Idea: Alexander Milde (Grabarz & Partner)
Concept/Account Supervisor: Nils Rüsenberg (Grabarz & Partner)
Account Supervisor: Ina Bach (Grabarz & Partner)
Production: Karlotta Ahrens (Grabarz & Partner)
Print: (Cheap Tricks)
Advertiser's Supervisor: Bernd Wagner (EXIT Germany)
Advertiser's Supervisor: Fabian Wichmann (EXIT Germany)
Describe the brief from the client
Right-wing extremism is still a major problem in Germany and as the right-wing scene seals itself off from the democratic public and strong group cohesion prevails, it is nearly impossible for EXIT to get in touch with its target audience and directly offer them help to get out of the scene.
Besides that, EXIT has no money for big campaigns and has to fight for survival every year. As it is semi-public, the organisation’s survival depends on money from funding bodies and private donations for which it has to get the public’s awareness and regularly prove its relevance.

Creative Execution

With this Trojan marketing strategy and the brand-new product idea of a ‘Trojan shirt’, we were sure that we would catch the neo-Nazis’ attention and that the message would spread within and outside the scene.
To ensure we got the public’s attention, we chose Europe’s biggest right-wing rock music festival as the place of action, being sure that the media would report on it. Moreover, a music festival would ensure we reached younger members of the scene, whose right-wing attitude may not yet be set in stone.

Describe the creative solution to the brief/objective.

We produced 250 T-shirts for EXIT bearing a typical right-wing slogan. We used an assumed identity to supply them to the organiser of Europe’s biggest right-wing rock festival, who then distributed the shirts among festival-goers. But the T-shirts had been primed with a print that washed off. After just one wash, they said: ‘If your T-shirt can do it, so can you.’
With the cost of $4,000 we became Germany’s most discussed social media topic in 2011, and more than 300 newspapers and TV channels worldwide covered the coup. EXIT was soon receiving triple the amount of advice requests.

Describe the results in as much detail as possible.

Channel Two on Germany’s television claimed the ‘Trojan shirts’ to be the top social media hit in 2011.
The media equivalence value of German TV, radio and print media was 50 times higher than the costs spent on the initiative.
In the week of the initiative, there was an increase of 167,000% in single visitors on its home page.
Compared to the same month one year before, EXIT-Deutschland received an increase of 434% donations in the month after the Trojan coup.
But most importantly, with the Trojan coup we increased the EXIT consultancy rate among neo-Nazis 3-fold.