THE DISTRESS SIGNAL

Short List
ClientAMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
Category E02. Social Purpose
TitleTHE DISTRESS SIGNAL
Product/ServiceAMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
Entrant ANORAK Oslo, NORWAY
Idea Creation ANORAK Oslo, NORWAY
Media Placement OATH NORDICS Copenhagen, DENMARK
PR SLAGER Oslo, NORWAY
Production MAKING WAVES Oslo, NORWAY
Production 2 BADEOG Oslo, NORWAY
Credits
Name Company Position
Hallvard Fjeldbraaten Anorak Copywriter
Jens-Petter Aarhus Anorak Creative Director
Janne Espevalen Anorak Client Director
Kristina Tallaksen Flaten Anorak Project manager
Henrik Guderud Anorak PR & Activation Director
Ole Pedersen Anorak Planner
Sondre Hårstad Anorak Graphic Designer
Darri Thorsteinsson Anorak Director / Motion
Nøkkvi Thorsteinsson Anorak Director / Motion
Erlend Dal Sakshaug Anorak Motion
Marianne Skøien Anorak PR & Activation
Lars Georg Teigen Making Waves Client Director
Håvard Ørbech Making Waves Performance Specialist
Henrik Fischer Bjelland Making Waves Front-end developer
Bjørn Molstad Making Waves Producer
Piotrek Janosz Making Waves Front-end developer
Gjermund Norderhaug Making Waves Back-end developer
Maria Sætre Making Waves Graphic Designer
Eskil Paus BådeOg Radio Director
Magnus Brandsæter Freelance Producer

Background

SITUATION: In El Salvador any form of abortion is prohibited and women are being prosecuted as murderers. Teodora Vasquez was sentenced to 30 years in prison after suffering a stillbirth. She had already spent 10 years in jail when our campaign went live. Amnesty International had already tried several petition campaigns without any luck. Brief: Create awareness around Teodora and the situation in El Salvador.

Describe the strategy

Injustice happens when nobody is paying attention. Amnesty International had tried several petition campaigns, so we knew we had to try something different. Insight: Petitions happens behind closed doors. You probably wouldn't know if your friend had signed one. We needed to find a way where one action could spark the next one. #iamlistening Are you?" Then there was the context: Every national news station was talking about the shut down of our entire FM-radio-network. We decided that this was our point of attack. By hijacking the Norwegian FM-band to start the broadcast of our distress signal we had momentum. Now. The rest was up to the people.

Describe the execution

First we created the actual distress signal - a recording made from a phone call with Teodora’s sister and a reporter from Amnesty International. We then managed to hijack the FM-band using our own radio-receiver, to broadcast its first distress signal since second world war. Our receiver could only reach 8km, but by linking the broadcast to social media through a 24/7 live stream, we invited people to help us boost the signal. On iamlistening.org people could turn their Facebook or Twitter into a radio antenna by sharing the signal. #iamlistening trended on twitter. In the Live stream of the signal we had created a layer where we could communicate in real time with our audience about what was going on. And more importantly, you could see the counter showing how many people who had listened before you. This was our petition. The campaign was live 24/7 for 9 days.

List the results

- Massive national news coverage. - Every political leader in Norway shared the signal. - Radio stations donated airtime. - 317 PR stories. In the end “The distress signal” didn’t only Reach: over 2,5 billion people.It was a new take on the traditional petition campaigns, where people could see their friends listening in. And on Feb 15th the Salvadoran government overruled the court’s decision and Teodora was set free. Since then, one additional woman has been released, and now the Salvadoran abortion law is up for review.