Change The Ref Print, Film, Case study Posts into Letters by Area 23 New York

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Posts into Letters

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Industry Public awareness
Media Print, Magazine & Newspaper, Film, Case study
Market United States
Agency Area 23 New York
Creative Director Vinny Ng, Andy Gerchak
Art Director Natasha Winter-Best
Senior Copywriter Clay MacGuire
Production Great Guns Ltd
Director Chris Neal
Released March 2018


Lions Communication 2018
Print & Publishing Lions Innovation > Adapted Print Silver Lion

Credits & Description

Media: Web Film
Category: Public interest
Client: Change The Ref
Agency: Area 23, USA
Production: Great Guns
Country: United States of America
Director: Chris Neal
Creative Director: Andy Gerchak
Creative Director: Vinny NG
Art Director: Natasha Winter-Best
Producer: Elan Schoonmaker
Senior Copywriter: Clay MacGuire
Executive Producer: Laura Gregory
Executive Producer: Thom Fennessey
DoP: Chris Weatherly
Managing Director: Tim Hawkey
Account Executive: Whitney Herman
Creative Partner: Fred Levron (Global Creative Partner, FCB)
Creative Vice President: Andy Gerchak & Vinny NG & Ronnie Caltabiano
Director of Technology: Bill Hanff
Area 23, Change the Ref, and Great Guns team up to launch the campaign film for 'Posts Into Letters', an initiative that transforms social media posts into handwritten letters to petition members of Congress to introduce stricter gun control laws. The initiative was developed in reaction to the outpouring of social media posts in the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. 'Posts Into Letters' is an online platform that allows anyone to turn their social media posts into handwritten letters to either print out and mail themselves or be done automatically. The font was developed using the handwriting of Joaquin Oliver, one of 15 students killed during February’s mass shooting. FCB Health Network's Area 23 developed the 'Posts Into Letters' to harness social media momentum and transform sentiments into action.
The US has more mass shootings than any other country. After each tragedy, Americans take to social media to voice their concerns and vent their frustrations. Though 93% of the public believes something must change, few actually write letters to their representatives to ask for it.

In fact, 96% of Capitol Hill staffers reported in a recent survey that handwritten letters are the most powerful way to influence lawmakers’ policy decisions.

We decided to compel Americans to amplify their own social media posts. Our goal was to call the nation to enact behavior change. The shift from only posting gun control opinions on social media, to also mailing them to representatives, would turn each American’s posts into something that Congress can’t ignore.

We gathered data that 93% of Americans want gun control. These Americans are our target audience. We launched a multi-channel initiative to engage with them.

On digital channels, we created an algorithm that recognizes key words related to gun control in social posts. We urged their authors to send a letter from our site. For key influencers with gun control posts, we created and sent their letters ourselves, publically notifying them that they were part of our campaign.

For print publications, we targeted markets with representatives who are undecided about gun control. The ads included a detachable letter in Joaquin’s handwriting, addressed to the recipient’s congressperson, based on printing location. Their constituents could help sway these congresspeople in favor of gun control by sending one of our letters.

At the heart of our campaign was a single compelling call-to-action: to transform your ineffective social posts into something Congress can’t ignore.

Online posts don’t influence policy change. Handwritten letters do. So we compelled people with a call-to-action to use the handwriting of a child killed in a school shooting, Joaquin Oliver, to turn their gun-control social-media posts into letters to Congress.

This initiative placed calls-to-action on social media to engage with our web platform, There, Americans turned their social posts into letters to send directly to their representative. The idea sought behavior change: getting voters to amplify the opinions they share on social media through a channel that their representatives will directly see.

Through social engagement, Posts into Letters became a huge success.

There have been 1MM impressions per day since the campaign launched.

The project was endorsed by the official March for Our Lives group. Additionally, all of the founders of the March for Our Lives movement gave individualized endorsements of the campaign through their personal social media channels.

Since launch, over 10,000 letters have been created and sent to Congress.

Our algorithm found users with posts related to gun control on social media and drove them to our site. There, they created unique letters to directly mail to Congress.

We were able to target thousands of people overnight, causing an immediate uptick in direct engagement and letter creation. Many users who transformed their letters posted about it on social platforms, further fueling engagement.

The leaders of the American gun control movement, Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, and the March for Our Lives Students, strongly endorsed the initiative on social media. Their passionate posts urging their millions of followers to participate bolstered engagement even more.

As this initiative relies on each individual to act, it is infinitely scalable.

Campaign Description
The idea is simple: compel Americans to use the handwriting of Joaquin, who was killed at the Parkland shooting, to turn ineffective social posts asking for gun control into powerful letters to Congress.

Through print ads, social marketing, digital, and PR, we drove people to our website and motivated them to turn their own posts into letters in Joaquin’s handwriting.