HK UNION Promo, Case study EQUALITY ON THE METRO by DDB Copenhagen

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Industry Public awareness, Human Rights
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Denmark
Agency DDB Copenhagen
Released October 2009

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Ambient Media: Large Scale
Advertiser: HK UNION
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

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 place to stand by the sliding doors 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 newspapers and a courtesy shoe-shine service. Women were given a hard bench to sit on. For one week, we created clear transport ‘apartheid’ akin to the financial inequality already suffered by women workers. By creating a clear parallel between our two-tier Metro station and the financial inequality we ensured voters called for action.

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
Women earn 18% less than male colleagues doing the same job in Denmark. We had to create real anger and make voters demand change from politicians. Our insight was that wage inequality is a form of financial apartheid. If we could find a way to treat the sexes differently with women clearly getting the worst treatment, 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. 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.