The 2 Euro T-shirt - A Social Experiment by BBDO Germany for Fashion Revolution (Ngo)

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The 2 Euro T-shirt - A Social Experiment

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Industry Public awareness
Media Outdoor, Billboard, Poster, Transportation & Vehicles, Ambient, Case study
Market Germany
Agency BBDO Germany
Director Robert Bader
Producer Stefan Bader
Photographer Christian H. Hasselbusch
Released April 2015

Awards

D&AD Awards, 2016
Outdoor Advertising Ambient Wood Pencil

Credits & Description

Brand: Fashion Revolution
Media: Ambient
Category: Public interest
Agency: BBDO
Geo: Germany
Fashion Revolution: The 2 Euro T Shirt
Advertising Agency: BBDO, Berlin, Germany
Chief Creative Officer: Wolfgang Schneider
Creative Managing Directors: Jan Harbeck, David Mously
Executive Creative Directors: Jan Harbeck, Michael Schachtner
Art Directors: Michail Paderin, Jessica Witt
Senior Account Manager: Mike Kannowski
Agency Producer: Silke Rochow
Chief Production Officer: Steffen Gentis
Art Buying: Cathrin Barbe
Photographer: Christian H. Hasselbusch
Producer: Stefan Bader
Director: Robert Bader
Cinematographers: Alessandro Rovere, Kevin Krefta
Animator: Nicolas Moles
Digital Development: Maciej Zasada, Kamil Chruscinski, Tomasz Sapinski, Christian Hergarten, Beode Rebitsch, Merlin Ortner, Christoph Klose
The Campaign
Millions of people worldwide are enslaved in sweatshops. People are aware yet ignore their conscience when it's time to buy their clothes. The problem is perpetuated by the Western world's demand for fast fashion. The non-profit organization Fashion Revolution advocates for a fashion industry that takes responsibility.
On April 24, 2013, the Rana Plaza in Bangladesh collapsed, killing 1,129, including many garment workers were forced to go back to work even after the building was deemed unsafe. Leveraging the two-year anniversary of the tragedy, Fashion Revolution sought to promote its ongoing cause, hoping to make a dramatic case on a shoestring budget. So we decided to conduct a daring social experiment: would people still buy a cheap shirt when they see under which circumstances it is produced?
We developed a t-shirt vending machine and placed it in a busy shopping area in Berlin. People could buy the 2 Euro T-Shirt, but first they had to watch a video explaining how the T-shirt was made. Given the choice to Buy or Donate, people overwhelmingly made conscientious decisions, while the experiment itself sparked serious online discussion and major media coverage.
Reaching far beyond that single vending machine, the video spawned more than 3 million online views, 250,000 social media shares, and 440 million media impressions. And 90% of the people in our social experiment decided to donate rather than buy the t-shirt in what we hope becomes a
fashionable precedent.
The Brief
The campaign sought to raise awareness of worldwide sweatshop conditions and the role consumers play when they purchase cheap clothing without considering the consequences. Our goal was to drive earned media and sharable content on a global level, using local activation and a non-profit budget.
Execution
For the one-day experiment, a vending machine was set up in the bustling Alexanderplatz shopping area in Berlin. The machine sold t-shirts at the bargain price of 2 Euros. Before receiving the shirt, the buyer simply had to watch a video first, depicting the life threatening conditions workers faced in order to make the t-shirt they were about to purchase. If after watching the video they still thought the t-shirt was worth 2 Euros, they could have it. If not, they had the choice to donate the money.
While consumers were making these decisions, hidden cameras were filming people's reactions. The team was also at work to ensure our compelling social experiment was getting major media coverage.
Output/Awareness:
- 90% of the people changed their minds about buying the T-Shirt and decided to donate instead.
- 3+ million video views on Youtube within the first 7 days
- Worldwide press coverage with over 50 million media impressions
- Type of media: 10 TV stations, over 300 articles in leading online press, relevant blogs and influencers
- Over 25 million social media impressions
- We reached more than 300 million people in over 200 countries
Knowledge/Consideration:
- #1 in the global ads chart
- Traditional media: favourable mentions: 100%, unfavourable mentions: 0%
- Social media: favourable mentions: 95%, unfavourable mentions: 5%
Action/Business Impact:
- YouTube followers: Increase of 425% directly linked to the idea
- Facebook Fans: Increase of over 100%
- 50% of all social media and news posts where shared further
The Strategy
Our audience is deeply immersed in fast fashion and the culture surrounding it. We needed to remind everyone of their purchasing power and the responsibilities that come with it. Because many people are aware of the sweatshop problem, but choose to ignore it, we decided to hit them at the moment of truth — the point of sale.
What if they could purchase a t-shirt for only 2 Euros, but had to consider the consequences first? And what if this social experiment was so unprecedented and compelling that it made news all by itself?