Gsoa Promo, Case study VOTE AGAINST FIREARMS AT HOME by Leo Burnett Zurich

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Industry Public awareness
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Switzerland
Agency Leo Burnett Zurich
Creative Director Martin Spillmann
Art Director Raul Serrat, Niels Schäfer
Copywriter Peter Bronnimann, Barbara Hutter
Released February 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Public Affairs
Advertiser: GSOA
Creative Director: Martin Spillmann (Spillmann / Felser / Leo Bunett)
Art Director: Raul Serrat (Spillmann / Felser / Leo Bunett)
Art Director: Niels Schäfer (Spillmann / Felser / Leo Bunett)
Copywriter: Barbara Hutter (Spillmann / Felser / Leo Bunett)
Copywriter: Peter Brönnimann (Spillmann / Felser / Leo Bunett)
Media placement: Ambient Outdoor - Zurich City - 2. February 2011
Media placement: Movie - - 27. January 2011

Summary of the Campaign
How do you convince the public to vote yes, against army weapons and firearms in your private household, at the voting polls?

The Situation
Switzerland has an old tradition that permits soldiers to take their weapons home for safekeeping, as a sign of the trust and confidence the state has in them. But unfortunately, more and more army weapons are used as murder weapons. And a significant number of people use them in the heat of the moment to take their own lives. On average, one person dies in Switzerland every day because firearms can be kept at home.
This is the reason why, in February 2011, the Swiss electorate will be voting on stricter firearm laws. But how do persuade the tradition-loving Swiss to vote YES on an issue like this? By showing them vividly what can happen if they vote ‘No’.

The Goal
Only when the shocked occupant looked closer did they realize that the seal did not mean an act of violence had taken place but was acutally intended to prevent such events ever occuring.

The Strategy
To achieve this, 10,000 doors to private residences were sealed off with official-looking stickers, which immediately transformed the residences into crime scenes.

The doors were sealed off by actors that played detectives in TV series. The unusual shots were filmed and photographed and then sent to the press. That way, the campaign was brought to the attention of the general public.

Documented Results
Although not all Swiss citizens were prepared to break with an old tradition,
the initiative for protection against firearms was accepted in the city of Zurich where 10,000 doors to homes were sealed off, especially around Zurich City which holds a population of 375,000 in the urban area and 1.3 million in the rural area (Canton Zurich).
It polled so many votes that it managed to out-vote Zurich’s rural population (who are traditionally much more conservative).
In Zurich the initiative was accepted with 69,472 votes and dismissed by 36,739. The rural population accepted with a total of 144,690 and dismissed the initiative by 174,237 votes.
So in Zurich City the initiative was accepted with 50.4% and in the surrounding municipalities (rural) denied with 49.6%.

The press coverage included the four biggest german-speaking newspapers like Blick, Tages-Anzeiger, NZZ, 20 Minuten and was an issue on our national TV-Station SF DRS and Tele Züri (local station).