Denmark is a small country, and we love to hear what the World says about us. Our idea was to send out an appeal for help to the Danes’ favorite holiday destinations, knowing that if it could recruit volunteers and create attention out there, Danish journalists and bloggers would pick up on it and bring the story back to Denmark.
Assisted by a sunburned choir, tv- and radio personality Mikael Berthelsen read out a heartfelt appeal in local languages to the people of Thailand, Spain, Greece, Italy and France: Help a Dane in the sun.
Interested locals could sign up to become Help A Dane volunteers. The idea was that an army of volunteers could create a lot more attention than bought media on a small budget.
Our appeal films went viral and got picked up by primetime news all over the world, and overnight, Danish sun habits were talk of the town. The campaign spread quickly on social media and 11.000 people signed up as volunteers.
Some volunteers learned Danish and produced their own video replies, and Danish embassies abroad joined our cause. Local businesses and hotels made special sun-offers for Danes and handed out free sunscreen, local pharmacies guided Danish tourists to better sun safety and dermatologists offered free birthmark check-ups for Danes.
And exactly as we had predicted, all these stories returned to Denmark as valuable news stories while we used the user-generated content to entertain and educate our Danish target group.
We also did a partnership with the weather report on Danish national tv to use the content as a weekly feature through the summer
More than 11.000 people - from Spain, Italy, France, Greece and Thailand - signed up to become Help a Dane volunteers. They downloaded our campaign material to distribute on the Danes’ favorite holiday destinations, giving us a reach that far exceeded our media budget.
Help a Dane grew from a PR stunt to an actual movement with more than 200.000 social shares and 2.4 billion media impressions.
But more importantly, 63% of Danes say they now remember sun protection as a result of the Help a Dane campaign.
Help a Dane was an appeal for help aimed at the Danes’ favorite holiday destinations.
A carefully orchestrated mix of PR, direct and social media meant that the Help A Dane campaign films went viral and reached primetime news on a very small budget. This reach helped us recruit a network of 11.000 volunteers on various holiday destinations that we could activate to help us spread our campaign material far beyond the Internet and into parts of the World where Danish tourists get sunburned but our budget couldn’t take us on its own.
We knew that if we could make the World talk about Danes and their sun habits, the Danish media would pick it up.
So to recruit as many volunteers as possible, we supplemented the five appeal-films with carefully orchestrated PR and targeted social media work in order to create a buzz on the five holiday destinations. The use of (broken) local languages in the films was a deliberate trick to get attention from social media users who found the pronunciations comical enough to share and comment on. We then urged interested locals to become Help a Dane volunteers and supplied them with campaign material like posters and flyers to distribute on destination. This in turn provided us with a lot of content that we could then use to target the Danes back in Denmark.