ALS Foundation Promo, Case study I HAVE ALREADY DIED by P&B Communicatie, Publicis Amsterdam

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Industry Charities, Foundations, Volunteers
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Netherlands
Agency P&B Communicatie
Agency Publicis Amsterdam
Director Olaf Van Gerwen
Copywriter Marcel Hartog
Designer Dave Fransen
Producer Marja Borkus
Photographer Lukas Gobel
Editor Michael Horvers, Kim Hinrichs, Francisco Rodriguez Bouzas
Released September 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Charity and Not for Profit
Product/Service: CHARITY
Executive Creative Director: Marcel Hartog (Publicis)
Executiev Creative Director: Jeroen Van Zwam (Publicis)
Copywriter: Marcel Hartog (Publicis)
Artdirector: Jeroen Van Zwam (Publicis)
Designer: Dave Fransen (Publicis)
Photographer: Lukas Göbel
Postproduction: Jan Hibma
Production Company: In Case Of Fire
Director: Olaf Van Gerwen
Editor: Kim Hinrichs/Michael Horvers (Condor)
Sound Studio: Robin Schlösser/Studio De Keuken
Art Buyer: Ron Townsend (Publicis)
Producer: Marja Borkus (Publicis)
Interaction Developer: Kelly Kouw (Publicis)
Technical Designer: Jeroen Hessing (Publicis)
Account Manager: Michiel Van Der Linden/Marcella Van Holten-Beekman (Publicis)
Editor: Francisco Rodriguez Bouzas (Publicis)
Pr: Anne-Marie Brouwers
Pr: Ingrid Wallisch
Media: George Goudsblom/Remco Roohé (Starcom/Mbs)
Media placement: Consumer PR, Digital PR, Coporate Communication - Dutch TV Channels, Nederland 1,2 En 3, RTL 4, SBS - 16-09-2011
Media placement: Commercial broadcasts - Commercial TV and Radio broadcast like RTL 4, SBS, Veronica - 16-09-2011
Media placement: Dutch Newspapers and magazines - Telegraaf, Volkskrant, NRC, Parool, Trouw, HP, LInda, VN, etc - 16-09-2011

Summary of the Campaign
Patients suffering from ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease made campaign statements for the ALS Foundation Netherlands, to raise awareness of this merciless disease and to raise funds for scientific research, and not for themselves, because their recordings are aired after they have passed away.
Every effort was made to put this thought-provoking campaign into the right perspective from the start. It was launched on the national news. Later that evening it was the main topic on the nation’s biggest talkshow. More TV-shows, magazines, websites and all major newspapers published reports on the campaign featuring participating patients and their loved ones as ambassadors.

The Situation
ALS or LouGehrig’s disease makes your muscles stop one by one. On average patients die within 3 years after being diagnosed. It’s cynical, but this is the main reason why the pharmaceutical industry does not invest in finding a cure. The ALS Foundation Netherlands wants to raise awareness of ALS and collect money for scientific research. The organisation has no budget whatsoever and depends on volunteers.

PR was crucial in the campaign plan. To put the confrontational approach into the right perspective from the start; and to create the necessary free publicity, given that there’s no campaign budget at all.

The Goal
In order to make people aware of this unknown disease, cut through the clutter without any budget, and increase willingness-to-give, a confrontational strategy was chosen.

Participating patients made campaign statements, which are aired after they have died.

PR was needed to put the confrontational campaign in the right perspective and reach a mass audience (only 1,500 people in the Netherlands suffer from ALS at one time, 500 pass away each year, 500 new cases are diagnosed).

An independent market research agency did a zero measurement on awareness of ALS and willingness-to-give to the Foundation.

The Strategy
• The official campaign kick-off was September 13th 2011. The weeks before were spent on a Q&A for all stakeholders, covering:
- what ALS stands for
- the need for this thought-provoking campaign
- the fact that all the participants, including friends and family totally agree with the approach
- the fact that everyone at the ALS Foundation and campaign team is working on a pro bono basis.

• Volunteers created a buzz on Twitter, about a special reason to watch the 8.30 National News on RTL-4. (nr. 1 Dutch TV-channel ).

• During this broadcast the campaign was launched. Later that evening it was the main item in the nation’s biggest talk show and a documentary about the campaign was shown on TV2.

• Over the following weeks all major newspapers and magazines published reports, featuring participating patients and their loved ones as ambassadors.

And the campaign continues, with each of the participants losing their fight against ALS, creating a new momentum for free publicity and background information.

• Q&A for stakeholders
• Confidential approach to press contacts
• Teaser campaign on Twitter: "Watch the 8.30 national news!"
• Kick-off, September 13th 2011

Official launch on National News:
- Explanation of ALS and the campaign
- Commercial aired for the first time,
- Interview with participating patient Joep Cobben and family.
- Documentary on TV2, featuring a day in the life of participating patient, Weertjan Weerts.
- Main item in DWDD, the nation’s biggest talk show, featuring the daughter of the deceased participant Theo Doyer, and participating patient Philippe de Lange.

• Reports in leading newspapers and magazines, featuring participating patients, friends and family
• Joep Cobben died November 14th 2011. 2 weeks later his campaign statement was aired on the SBS national news.
Although confrontational, the campaign received a warm welcome. There was no need to adapt the PR plan at any stage.

Documented Results
• Awareness of ALS rose from 62% to 81%.*
• Willingness-to-give rose from 27% to 40% *
• Donations rose 500%

More money for scientific research can be expected , as the campaign continues, as each of the 9 participating patients loses the fight against ALS.

* Market Research. Dutch general audience, age 18+.