Reporters Without Borders Print THE POWER OF PENCILS by DDB Dusseldorf

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Industry Charities, Foundations, Volunteers
Media Print, Magazine & Newspaper
Market Germany
Agency DDB Dusseldorf
Creative Director Jan Propach, Holger Scheuermann
Art Director Astrid Germanus, Florian Zwinge
Copywriter Christian Ole Puls
Photographer Michael Hägele
Released April 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Experiential Marketing in a Promotional Campaign
Chief Creative Officer: Eric Schoeffler (DDB Tribal Group)
Executive Creative Officer: Dennis May (DDB Tribal Group)
Creative Director: Jan Propach (DDB Tribal Group)
Creative Director: Holger Scheuermann (DDB Tribal Group)
Art Director: Florian Zwinge (DDB Tribal Group)
Art Director: Astrid Germanus (DDB Tribal Group)
Copywriter: Christian Ole Puls (DDB Tribal Group)
Account Manager: Nora Hetzelt (DDB Tribal Group)
Account Manager: Sönke Bruns (DDB Tribal Group)
Illustration: Bernd Ertl
Photographer: Michael Hägele
Art Buyer: Kimberly Bianchi
Agency Production: Oliver Savitis
Media placement: Promotion - In Front Of The Russian Embassy In Berlin - 26.04.2012

Describe the objective of the promotion.
An independent opinion-forming needs freedom of information. That’s what the Reporters Without Borders are fighting for – just like in Russia. Here the designated president Wladimir Putin and his apparatus accept an atmosphere of fear, which alone makes the suppression of press possible.

We wanted to oppose this with: the power of the written word, experienced by the initiative 'Power of Pencils'. And with that, spread all over the world.

Describe how the promotion developed from concept to implementation.
Wladimir Putin’s assumption of office in May 2012 was exactly the right occasion to take our initiative to the public. At first we informed journalists about the 'Power of Pencils'. Our website went online 2 days before the Power of Pencils balloon activity started – on April, 26th.

After that, nearly everything happened automatically. Webpages like ntv, Welt or Tagesschau supported the press freedom with their own free reporting. Citizens of Berlin and tourists from all over the world posted about it on Facebook and Twitter and participated on On the same day and in the following weeks.

Explain why the method of promotion was most relevant to the product or service.
We didn’t come up with a 'Big Bang' – but with hundreds. Simply by letting people literally experience the 'Power of Pencils'. And by reaching the press, which supported the press freedom by its own free reporting.

Just like the people that we involved in our activity. Thousands of them used their right to freedom of opinion to spread our message via Facebook and Twitter posts and participate on our website We even had our own live channel to Russia: the Russian embassy’s security cameras.

Describe the success of the promotion with both client and consumer including some quantifiable results.
On just one day we collected hundreds of signed claims to Wladimir Putin. Even from Russia. And with that we got another great result from the initiative 'Power of Pencils' – its priceless outcome: peoples’ attention.

Without investing in media, we reached thousands of people from all over the world. News webpages like ntv, Welt or Tagesschau supported us by spreading our message in the daily news. Even Wladimir Putin got involved, although he probably didn’t hear about our activity in the Russian news. Instead he got a small box full of powerful words, proving the 'Power of Pencils'.