BOMBS FROM GERMANY by Scholz & Friends Berlin for Pax Christi

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BOMBS FROM GERMANY

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Industry Charities, Foundations, Volunteers
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Germany
Agency Scholz & Friends Berlin
Director Tim Peters
Executive Creative Director Matthias Spaetgens, Stefan Wegner
Creative Director Mathias Rebmann, Florian Schwalme
Art Director René Gebhardt, Bjoern Kernspeckt
Copywriter Mateo Sacchetti
Photographer Dominik Butzmann
Editor Daniel Klessig
Released February 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Public Affairs
Advertiser: PAX CHRISTI
Product/Service: BOMBS FROM GERMANY
Agency: SCHOLZ & FRIENDS BERLIN
Chief Creative Officer: Martin Pross (Scholz & Friends)
Executive Creative Director: Matthias Spaetgens (Scholz & Friends)
Executive Creative Director: Stefan Wegner (Scholz & Friends)
Creative Director: Florian Schwalme (Scholz & Friends)
Creative Director: Mathias Rebmann (Scholz & Friends)
Art Director: Bjoern Kernspeckt (Scholz & Friends)
Art Director: René Gebhardt (Scholz & Friends)
Copywriter: Mateo Sacchetti (Scholz & Friends)
Graphics: Alexander Doepel
Graphics: Peter Schoenherr (Scholz & Friends)
Graphics: Iris Gavric (Scholz & Friends)
Graphics: Ulrike Keitel (Scholz & Friends)
Graphics: Robert Hellmundt (Scholz & Friends)
Photographer: Dominik Butzmann
Account Manager: Claudia Díaz (Scholz & Friends)
Print Agency Producer: Franziska Ibe (Scholz & Friends)
Film Agency Producer: Agostino De Martino/Katrin Kaiser (Scholz & Friends)
Editor: Daniel Klessig (Scholz & Friends)
Film Production: Mypony Hamburg
Director: Tim Peters
Media placement: Bombs Built From Ordinary Balloons - In Front Of The Reichstag Berlin - 26. February 2012

Summary of the Campaign

70 years ago, Germany brought war to the world. 50m people died through German weapons. Even today, Germany still brings war to the world - millions die because of German arms exports. Germany is European champion in arms exports (3rd in the world). But most Germans don’t know about it. So politicians don’t care. We had to change that with a very low budget, by revealing to the public that war still starts from Germany!

We turned ordinary balloons into big bombs to create a strong visual for German arms exports and attract the interest of the media. Therefore, we chose a symbolic place - the German Parliament in Berlin - and invited the press to join us. In front of countless photo and television cameras, we let the bombs fly.

With only a few balloons this effective PR-campaign started a big debate. Through broad media coverage more than 20m people became aware of German arms exports. And finally, politicians started a serious discussion.

The Situation
Germany is European Champion in arms exports and holds the 3rd place in the world. But only a few people are aware that through these arms exports, millions of people are killed worldwide. German politicians don’t care about that fact, they just see growing export numbers and the rising German economy. We wanted to change that by letting people know and exert pressure on politicians.

Therefore we created an attention-grabbing visual: We show that the German Parliament in Berlin still sends bombs to the world by letting balloons that looked like bombs fly from the Berlin Parliament. And we invited the press to join that action.

The Goal
The attention-grabbing action should increase awareness of the general public for the problem of German arms exports and with that, exerting pressure on German politicians.

Therefore we invited the media so they could cover the story and bring the symbol we created to every home in Germany. At the same time the client (Aktion Aufschrei), yet very active but not very well known, should be profiled as a legitimate and relevant organisation.

The Strategy

The only chance to reach politicians without extensive lobbying is by creating a peak of awareness in the public. With a strong symbolic picture in front of the German Parliament in Berlin we wanted to bring the issue of arms exports straight to the door and onto the agenda of German politics.

Therefore we chose the German day against arms trade, the 26th of February, so we could also profit from the growing media interest during this important day.

Execution

For the dawn of 26th February, the German day against arms trade, we organised hundreds of activists that gathered in front of the German Parliament in Berlin. Everyone of them got a huge helium-filled balloon with attached gear that made it look like a flying bomb. For noon, we had invited a huge number of media representatives to document the picture of bombs above their parliament, Germanys most relevant place in war history and today´s politics. Even more than expected arrived attracted by the first bombs in the air.

Finally, the bombs were sent from the German Parliament to the world. And the media recorded this strong symbol against German arms exports and spread our message: 'War still starts from Germany! Stop arms exports!'

We exceeded our expectations: More than 20m people learned about German arms exports within a few hours. Enough pressure to start a public debate and force politicians to act.

Documented Results
A few balloons triggered a heated debate about German arms exports. The issue became top story in major newscasts, was covered by the biggest newspapers, made it as hot topic on the most poular news websites and even went viral. More than 20m people were reached. And finally, politicians started a serious discussion.

The picture we created was and is still used by the media when arms exports are an issue. Our effective PR-campaign helped also our client to gain legitimacy and increase their popularity as a relevant non-profit organisation.