SEARCHING FOR SYRIA

Short List
ClientGOOGLE
Category A09. Corporate Social Responsibility
TitleSEARCHING FOR SYRIA
Product/ServiceGOOGLE
Entrant R/GA LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
Idea Creation R/GA LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
Credits
Name Company Position
n.a. :the client doesn't want individual names UNHCR n.a. :the client doesn't want individual names
n.a. :the client doesn't want individual names Google Brand Studio n.a. :the client doesn't want individual names
n.a. :the client doesn't want individual names R/GA London n.a. :the client doesn't want individual names

The Campaign

We created Searching for Syria to re-engage the world, giving people a fresh way to understand the Syrian crisis through data – not opinion or bias. In 2016 alone, there were 160,000,000 search queries about Syria. We combined this data with data provided by the UNHCR to uncover the questions people were asking, then answer them in an accurate and compelling way. We began by identifying the top 5 questions from millions of search queries; then we created a long-scroll narrative that answered each question with snackable and data-driven content. We rethought the long-form interactive stories made famous by The New York Times and The Guardian by making the experience bite-sized and fast, reflecting how people actually consume digital content today. The entire experience took about 5 minutes to get through, or roughly 60 seconds or less per question.

Creative Execution

Searching for Syria was designed to make a complex and ubiquitous topic feel simple and human. The human side of the crisis was brought to life using the same Google products people around the world use every day: Maps, Search, Trends and YouTube. These products were combined with data visualizations and real stories to show the world the human behind the label “refugee.” To keep our audience engaged with such a complex subject, our creative teams worked closely with journalists who had an intimate knowledge of the crisis to write copy that was both accurate and compelling. The UX was based on the quick scrolling behavior of platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, making the experience feel familiar and easy to digest. Built over 6 months, Searching for Syria worked seamlessly across multiple markets, devices and formats, ensuring that no matter how people read the content, their experience was seamless.

1.Over 2 million people visited the site in the first month. Average time on the site was over 4 minutes, with some visitors spending upwards of 45 minutes. 2.30% of desktop users and 20% of mobile users visited the site’s “Donate” page. 3.Nearly $250,000 has been raised to date. 4.At launch visitors spent a collective 10 years interacting with content. 5.So far the site has been shared 94,000 times across social media. 6.More than 8,000 press articles globally, including in The Verge, Le Monde, Der Spiegel, The Brussels Times and World Economic Forum. 7.The project generated the largest spike in new signatures to the #WithRefugees petition since its launch in 2016. 8.May 2017, when Searching for Syria was launched, was the second-highest viewing month for UNHCR YouTube content in the account’s history. 9.May 2017 was the highest month in history for new subscribers to UNHCR’s YouTube channel.

Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible. For this project, the brand’s role was to organize the most relevant data around the crisis and present it in a way that creates empathy and action. Our audience is tech friendly, aspiring, curious and optimistic. They care about Syria but the subject is complex and they are saturated with confusing, contradictory and politicized points of view. They appreciate data that simplifies and clarifies, but they are emotionally exhausted by the horrors of Syria, and influencing others to care feels hard. Our approach was to create a data-driven platform that would drive attitudinal change by presenting complex data in a relevant and sharable way. Our platform was designed to educate and inform our audience about the crisis so that they could influence their peers and the lives of the Syrian people, by sharing, donating or both.

Dreamy and slightly surreal, Ice Skaters for Ikea from CZAR Brussels

Ice Skaters shows the dreamy and slightly surreal spectacle of a middle aged couple spinning and gliding on the polished wood floors of an elegant, high-ceilinged apartment in their socks. With the tagline 'Bring life into your living room' it is a beautifully crafted advert creating a warm, nostalgic mood for the brand, Ikea. It won Bronze at Eurobest in 2018 for production company CZAR Brussels. Director, Joe Vanhoutteghem and producer, Lander Engels talk to Eurobest about the experience of creating the work. 

How do you make an idea work when your entire media budget is pulled, a week before launch?

The team at Marvelous Moscow have the answer. CCO, Artem Sinyavskiy shares the story of how their work for Skylink, 'The 1 MB Campaign', went on to win Bronze at Eurobest in 2017, despite the media budget being pulled a week before the launch of the campaign.

The gin, the city, the song and the search for the special colour of Seville

PS21 Madrid, the creative transformation company set up by founder of creative agency dommo Agustín Vivancos, was in its first year when the team began work on Searching for the Special Colour of Seville. It was a piece of work that would not only go on to win the agency’s first major award, Bronze in Creative Data at Eurobest in 2018, but would also become part of Seville’s cultural heritage. We hear how the idea came to life from Strategy Director, Sergio Garcia and Executive Creative Director, Victor Blanco.

Final Entry Deadline: 22 October

The Eurobest Awards is the benchmark for creative and effective branded communications in Europe.

For the past 32 years Eurobest has set the bar for Europe's creative communications industry, enabling those who push the possibilities of creativity to compete locally and be recognized globally.

Find out what's new in 2020

Juries announced

The names of the jurors for Eurobest Awards 2020 have been announced. All leaders in their respective fields, they encompass a wealth of creative expertise, skill and talent.

This year, our jurors will be judging the work online. We're adapting our robust and rigorous judging system to an online environment, while retaining our commitment to inclusivity and in-depth debate. As always, the work will be given the time, recognition and platform it deserves.

See the Juries

Get the Eurobest Evolving Trends Report

Full of useful insights and commentary, the Eurobest 2020 Evolving Trends Report revisits five key trends in creativity that emerged in 2019. With predictions from 2019 Jury Presidents and opinions on last year's winning work, we ask, “Where were we then? And what’s next?” across five key areas.