UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund) Promo, Case study SANTA by Forsman & Bodenfors Gothenburg


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Industry Charities, Foundations, Volunteers, Human Rights
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Sweden
Agency Forsman & Bodenfors Gothenburg
Director Tomas Skoging, Torbjörn Martin
Art Director Johanna Hofman Bang
Copywriter Jacob Nelson, Marcus Hägglöf
Producer Kalle Schröder
Photographer Jallo Faber
Account Supervisor Andreas Engstrand
Released December 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Charity and Not for Profit
Advertiser: UNICEF
Account Supervisor: Andreas Engstrand (Forsman & Bodenfors)
Account Manager: Johanna Bringefält (Forsman & Bodenfors)
Art Director: Johanna Hofman-Bang (Forsman & Bodenfors)
Agency Producer: Magnus Kennhed (Forsman & Bodenfors)
Copywriter: Marcus Hägglöf/Jacob Nelson (Forsman & Bodenfors)
Web Producer: Peter Gaudiano (Forsman & Bodenfors)
Production Company: (Acne Production)
Media Agency: (Maxus AB)
Photographer: Jallo Faber
Producer: Kalle Schröder
Sound Design: (Plop)
Postproduktion: (The Chimney Pot)
Director: Tomas Skoging/Torbjörn Martin
Music: (Upright Music Scandinavia)
Media placement: Youtube - - - December 2012
Media placement: - - - - -
Media placement: - - - - -

Summary of the Campaign
Each Christmas, Unicef sell Christmas gifts in their webshop. Field products such as vaccine, medicine, nutrition and school material. The things you buy are sent to children in need, and you get a gift card to give to your friend. Our job was to promote these gifts.

The biggest challange was to break through during the busiest and most commercial time of year. At Christmas, people have so much to think about, and so many things to do. We needed something that would burst that Christmas bubble.

Our solution was to fire up a debate, using a thought provoking film that explains the big inequities of the world. And there’s no better example of inequity than Santa. In a TV spot, that was also put online, Santa explains he only deliver toys, not medicine or needles. And he admits that he doesn’t 'do' poor countries.

The film got a very mixed response, both from media and the public. Some saw it as an effective eye opener, whilst some got offended and upset. And so the debate began.

The film got a huge amount of exposure on TV, radio, news sites, blogs and social media. And Unicef broke their sales goals by 130%.

This campaign belongs in PR Lions because it raised big questions, such as, ”is it okay to treat Christmas this honestly?” and ”do we really want to save lives by all means necessary?”. It was not just a commercial. It was a conversation starter.

The Situation
Unicef is the world’s leading children’s rights organisation. Each year, Unicef Sweden sell Christmas gifts in their web shop in the form of field products. If you buy something, the product is sent to children in need, and you get a gift card to give to your friend.

The problem with Christmas is that people got their hands full. We needed to use PR to change subject of conversation, and make people think about the inequities of the world.

The Goal
For Unicef, it’s all about raising money to enable all the good work they do. So that was also our mission. But to do that, we first needed to get people’s attention. The sales goal was to raise 10m SEK. The PR goal was to create enough buzz to reach the sales goals.

The target audience was young and middle aged people who are active online, since we’re promoting a web shop.

The Strategy
It was all quite simple. We wanted to raise a subject that, for many people, is a bit uncomfortable: our commercialism in contrast to the extreme poverty in other parts of the world. To do this, we borrowed one of the greatest symbol of commercialism: Santa Claus.

In a TV spot he explained the inconvenient truth about the countries he doesn’t visit. Once the film was uploaded to YouTube, th internet took care of the rest. And soon it appeared all over the place, all over the world.

We just put it on YouTube.

Documented Results
The campaign was highlighted by some of the biggest news channels such as Fox News, NY Daily News, Washington Post, Huffington Post, Forbes, Adweek, US Daily Review, The Week, News Busters, The Washington Times, and many more.

It was also a hot topic in radio shows and social media. A rough count shows more than 200 press clippings, 1,270 blog posts, 146,000 YouTube views and thousands of tweets and Facebook posts.

The campaign was also a great success sales wise. Unicef raised 23m SEK, beating the sales goals, that was 10m SEK, by 130%. They also beat last year's sales record by 57%.