SAY YES AUSTRALIA by Republic Of Everyone for The Climate Institute

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SAY YES AUSTRALIA

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Industry Environmental & Animal Issues
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Australia
Agency Republic Of Everyone
Released October 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Charity and Not for Profit
Advertiser: THE CLIMATE INSTITUTE
Product/Service: AUSTRALIAN CARBON TAX
Agency: REPUBLIC OF EVERYONE
Founder/Partner: Ben Peacock (Republic Of Everyone)
Communications Manager: Garrett Stringer (Climate Institute)
Head of Strategy: Scott Matyus-Flynn (Republic Of Everyone)
Head of Communications: Dae Levine (Greenpeace Australia)
Head of Design: Giles Kershaw (Republic Of Everyone)
Creative Ideas: Ian Masek (Republic Of Everyone)
Account Director: Jenni Hart (Republic Of Everyone)
Founder/Partner: Matt Perry (Republic Of Everyone)
Media placement: Social Media - Facebook; Twitter - 24 May 2011
Media placement: Television Commercial - Nationally Broadcast - 26 May 2011
Media placement: Press Conference - - 29 May 2011
Media placement: National Rallies - - 5 June 2011
Media placement: Community Events And Workshops - - 18 June 2011
Media placement: Event - Fortnight Of Action - - 1 August 2011
Media placement: Event - Placards On Parliament - - 11 October 2011
Media placement: Campaign Book - - 11 October 2011

Summary of the Campaign
In February 2011, the Australian government announced plans to lead the world by putting a price on carbon, thus encouraging industry to minimise emissions and do something about climate change.

The challenge:
Conservative politicians and industry lobby groups opposed the proposed legislation.

The objective:
Counter these well-funded groups with a grass roots campaign showing that everyday and prominent Australians supported the legislation, thus convincing members of Parliament to vote Yes and ensure its passage into law.

The strategy:
Bring 9 environmental groups together and create a campaign that rallies the Australian public to take action.

The execution:
A user-empowering campaign concept that every environmental and community group in Australia could repurpose as its own.

Give the campaign a high profile voice with Cate Blanchett and Michael Caton.
Assemble 500 influential Australians to join them (economists, scientists, religious leaders and past political leaders).

Hold rallies simultaneously across the country, with over 50,000 people attending.

Planting thousands of people’s messages on the lawn of Parliament House.

The Outcome:
Say Yes became the national voice for the movement, dominating the news for 3 days upon its launch and featuring in national and international media multiple times throughout the campaign.

Our collateral was adopted by the Prime Minister as a show of public support and, ultimately, the carbon tax was passed into legislation.

The Situation
In early 2011, the Australian government announced plans to help stop climate change with a carbon tax. The announcement was immediately met with vocal resistance from polluter lobby-groups, conservative media commentators and politicians. So much so, that the plan was in danger of failing before it began. If the legislation was to pass, it would need popular support, and fast.

So, Say Yes was created.

By bringing together 9 organisations under 1 banner; including WWF, Greenpeace, GetUp! and the Climate Institute, we created an instant movement with 3m+ members and one united voice.

The Goal
To make sure a majority of politicians voted yes to the proposed legislation. We needed to have millions of people show their support, while ensuring lobby groups didn’t convince them to vote no.

Research showed many people were confused by the proposed tax. It also showed people were most likely to trust their friends and family on such issues. And while people were unsure about the tax, a majority supported positive action on climate change.

The key targets were Mums (as they tend to consider their children’s future first), early adopters of environmental ideas and voters in marginal seats.

The Strategy
The strategy was to:

- Give Australians and the media a simple, positive, memorable message to hold onto;
- Give the campaign high-profile leadership, ensuring national media pick-up;
- Convert leadership into grassroots support via national rallies and community activity;
- Regionalise the execution, outsourcing it to local groups who could then add the local media for us. This maintained media coverage over a long period, which would have been harder to do on a national-only scale;
- Give parents (Mums) a particular focus to vocalise their support in the media;
- Collect content for one big national-media push at the end as the vote drew near, and the issue again came into focus as a national media issue.

Execution
Two words: Say Yes. Easy to remember, positive and good for ‘gluing’ everything together.

Cate Blanchett, Michael Caton and 500 prominent Australians launched the idea, giving the campaign leadership.

A month later: rallies in all major capitals, change the news story from high profile to grassroots support.

Mums even got their own event, marching on Parliament with their prams.

We regionalised the campaign, making all the campaign materials ‘open-source’ to environmental groups to use as their own. This helped in marginal electorates where groups organised their own local media-launches and petitioned their local parliamentarian.

The final media push was collecting messages from all over Australia: people completed the sentence, ‘I Say Yes Because…’

The responses went into a book, which was given to key MPs and the Prime Minister as a media event, which included placing thousands of placards on the lawn of Parliament House.

Documented Results
- Say Yes became front-page and first-story national news for 2 days running;
- Conversation centred around Cate Blanchett and fronting a campaign for a highly contentious political issue ensuring huge talkback;
- Lead story for every major Australian daily/first story in every national news show, dominating the news for a week. Media Monitors estimated media value at AUS$20m+ over the first three days;
- Internationally it was reported in the UK, China, Indonesia, India and the USA.
- Simultaneous rallies, attracting an estimated 50,000 people. Covered on all national TV news/major newspapers;
- The final media push to Parliament House. 1000’s of Say Yes placards on Parliament lawn;
- Reported on multiple news channels;
- Prime Minister held the book of Say Yes up in Parliament;
- Total media reach is estimated beyond AUS$50mn. Facebook: 10.5m total post-views, with 207,330 video-views on YouTube;
- The ultimate outcome is that the legislation was passed.