Troy Public Library Digital, Viral Book Burning Party by Leo Burnett Detroit

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Book Burning Party

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Industry Museums & Libraries
Media Digital, Interactive & Mobile, Viral
Market United States
Agency Leo Burnett Detroit
Executive Creative Director Peter Mchugh
Released May 2012


London International Awards 2012
Digital Public Service/Social Welfare Gold Winner
Digital Use of Social Media Silver Winner
Digital Viral Silver Winner

Credits & Description

Entrant: Leo Burnett Detroit, Troy
Troy Public Library - "Book Burning Party"
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Corporate Name of Client: Troy Public Library
Agency: Leo Burnett Detroit, Troy
Executive Creative Director: Peter McHugh
Creative Directors: Glen Hilzinger/Bob Veasey
Copywriters: Glen Hilzinger/Rob Thiemann/Mike Davis
Art Directors: Bob Veasey/Derek Tent
Executive Agency Producer: Jennie Hochthanner
Agency Producer: Tony Booth
Production Manager: Jennifer Samra
Creative Technologist: John McClaire
Description of the Project
Due to a struggling economy, Troy, Michigan couldn’t afford to sustain its library, so it scheduled a vote for a small tax increase. With no organized support for the library, a well-funded anti-tax group waged a dominating campaign against it. So we created a political action group of our own, and - using reverse psychology - posted signs around town that said, “Vote to close Troy Library Aug 2, Book Burning Party Aug 5.” Our signs invited a shocked and infuriated public to our Facebook page, and we added Twitter, Foursquare, flyers and more to help drive engagement. As the conversation spread from newspaper to TV and across the blogosphere, the campaign became an international media incident as outcry over the idea of burning the library’s books drowned out the opposition and galvanized support for the library. With a budget of just $3500 (US), we created a global conversation around a local issue generating over 650,000 impressions from Twitter and Facebook alone. In the end, voters flocked to the polls at numbers 342% greater than projected. The library won the election by a landslide.