EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK by MEC Copenhagen for HK UNION

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EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK

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Industry Charities, Foundations, Volunteers, Human Rights
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Denmark
Agency MEC Copenhagen
Released October 2009

Credits & Description

Category: Charities, Public Health & Safety, Public Awareness Messages
Advertiser: HK UNION
Product/Service: PAY EQUALITY AWARENESS
Date of First Appearance: Oct 19 2009 12:00AM
Entrant Company: MEC DENMARK, Copenhagen, DENMARK
Account Director: Jane Sørensen Ravn (MEC)
Managing Director: Kasper Petersen (MEC Access)
Project Coordinator: Mathias Olesen (MEC Access)
Media placement: OOH - Metro Station Take Over - 19 October 2009
Media placement: Event/Sponsorship - Handball Match - 31 October 2009

Results and Effectiveness
Our media activity delivered massive reach – 700,000 via the Metro – and huge PR – 1.25 million – valued at 250% of media investment. More importantly, our message has triggered radical action on equal pay. The equal pay law is now a part of the agreement between the Danish Chamber of Commerce and the Union HK Commerce along with a special taskforce to enforce them.

Creative Execution
We divided Denmark’s largest Metro station in two, making women second-class citizens on their journey to work. We labelled escalators “fast for men” and “slow for women”. And when they reached the trains, they found the best places to stand marked “reserved for men”. Floor markings told women to queue at the back. Finally, we created a pampered seating zone for men, complete with sofas, free papers and a courtesy shoe-shine service. Women were given a hard bench. For one week, we created clear transport apartheid akin to the financial inequality already suffered by women workers. To amplify the message, we took over a handball match, making our campaign integral to an important Champions League game involving Denmark’s best women’s team. We created a bespoke team strip emblazoned with the words Equal Pay Now. Side perimeter boards carried our message, reaching fans at the game and a primetime TV audience.

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
Women earn 18% less than male colleagues doing the same job. We had to create real anger and make voters demand change. Our insight was that wage inequality is a form of financial apartheid. If we could find a way to treat the sexes differently, voters would realise how unacceptable it was. Our solution was to create a demonstration of sexual inequality, to turn Denmark’s largest metro station into a two-tier transit point, with the best facilities reserved for men and women disadvantaged. We then amplified our message via Denmark’s national sport, handball. We would hijack a key match both for the fans that attended and for the primetime TV audience, ensuring our message got the widest possible hearing. The strategy would trigger a clear sense of outrage in egalitarian Danes, delivering massive media coverage and ensuring voters demanded wage equality between the sexes.