RETURN TO SENDER

ClientPUBLIC EYE
Category A11. Charities & Non-profit
TitleRETURN TO SENDER
Product/ServiceENVIRONMENT
Entrant FREUNDLICHE GRÜSSE Zürich, SWITZERLAND
Idea Creation FREUNDLICHE GRÜSSE Zürich, SWITZERLAND
Media Placement STAILAMEDIA Zürich, SWITZERLAND
Media Placement 2 STORYFILTER Baar, SWITZERLAND
PR FREUNDLICHE GRÜSSE Zürich, SWITZERLAND
Production FREUNDLICHE GRÜSSE Zürich, SWITZERLAND
Production 2 MEIER PRODUCTION Zurich, SWITZERLAND
Credits
Name Company Position
Pascal Deville Freundliche Grüsse Creative Director
Samuel Textor Freundliche Grüsse Creative Director
Res Matthys Freundliche Grüsse Copywriter
David Elmiger Freundliche Grüsse Copywriter
Daniel Gremli Freundliche Grüsse Copywriter
Alain Aebersold Freundliche Grüsse Art Director
Nadine Mojado Freundliche Grüsse Art Director
Sean Dünki Freundliche Grüsse Graphic Designer
Michael Benz Freundliche Grüsse Planner
Erwan Eydt Freundliche Grüsse Programmer
Patrick Biner Freundliche Grüsse Chief Operating Officer
Stefanie Schmid Freundliche Grüsse Project Manager
Alexander Meier Meier Production Director
Alexander Meier Meier Production Producer
Derek Stierli Meier Production Cameraman

The Campaign

To show the shocking health impacts dirty diesel has on the African population, we created a multichannel campaign. With the help of activists in Accra, Ghana, we shot a short film showing local people capturing the polluted air into canisters and return it to the sender. In other words: As a reaction to the dirty business of Trafigura, we sent the air in a shipping container back to the commodities giant.

Creative Execution

The campaign was implemented in three phases. In phase one, the audience was shown a teaser film with local people capturing the polluted air into canisters and return it to the sender. A lot of major media platforms around the world reported about the story of the dirty diesel. In phase 2, the journey of the dirty air to Switzerland started and was a public event. Users could follow the cargo ship in real time on the website returntosender.ch, including precise geolocation of the container ship, weather data and progression. The website also contained extensive information about the report. It led to a petition demanding Trafigura to stop their dirty business and focus on their goal of becoming market leader in social responsibility. The hook of Phase 3 was the delivery of the dirty air to the sender, to Trafigura in Geneva. This event was covered by national TV.

Media outputs: Media coverage started with an article in the Guardian at the campaign beginning and was followed by wide-coverage news platforms like Le Monde, Financial Times, New York Times, BBC, Reuters or France24. The media coverage in West African countries was even bigger and forced Ghana to take action. Target audience outcomes: The petition was signed by almost 20´000 people. Business outcomes: The Public Eye Facebook community increased by more than 20%, 1000 new members were gained (base: 25000 members). Public pressure caused by our campaign moved the government of Ghana to toughen its national sulfur standard by a factor of 60. The National Petroleum Authority Ghanas called our campaign the catalyst for these actions. Benin, Togo, Ivory Coast and Nigeria followed and toughened its sulfur standards. The Dutch and the Nigerian governments recognized the problem of the export of dirty diesel, they want to take actions. The city council of Amsterdam wants to ban the export.

The core idea of this campaign is a striking PR stunt. As Trafigura pollutes the air with dirty diesel in Ghana and other West African countries, we sent the dirty air back to the sender with the help of African activist. On the way back to Switzerland, almost 20´000 people supported and signed the petition to stop the commodities giant. The campaign and the report about dirty diesel were covered by major news platforms like The Guardian, The New York Times and BBC. At all points, «Return to Sender» is a successful PR concept.

Public Eye has a member and donor community of 25´000 people. With the campaign, we addressed urban, well-educated Swiss who want to fight against social inequity. People who care about global justice. The idea was to reach the target audience and to multiply the reach by activating the Public Eye community on- and offline. On the website returntosender.ch, we provided the content about the dirty business. The campaign was boosted with social posts, ads and teasers on Twitter and Facebook. We also placed featured content in magazines read by the target audience. Public Eye street teams collected signatures in Swiss cities. But above all, we needed earned media for the campaign to succeed and hoped for big national and international media to jump on board.