THE DEATH OF THE PALM

Short List
ClientUN ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION/GRID-WARSAW CENTRE
Category B05. Use of Ambient Media: Large Scale
TitleTHE DEATH OF THE PALM
Product/ServiceUN WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY
Entrant SYRENA COMMUNICATIONS Warsaw, POLAND
Idea Creation SYRENA COMMUNICATIONS Warsaw, POLAND
Media Placement SYRENA COMMUNICATIONS Warsaw, POLAND
Additional Company PROPSY PR Warsaw, POLAND
Additional Company 2 ONE HOUSE SP. Z O.O. Warsaw, POLAND
Credits
Name Company Position
Jarek Wiewiorski Syrena Communications Executive Creative Director
Levan Muskhelishvili Syrena Communications Creative Director
Barbara Borkala Syrena Communications Creative
Tengiz Begoidze Syrena Communications Art Director
Feliks Marciniak Syrena Communications Art Director

Why is this work relevant for Media?

By the 5th of June 2019, our message for the World Environment Day was discussed by every major news outlet in Poland. That earned media were achieved by one ambient placement - the makeover of the art symbol of Warsaw.

Background

Out of 50 most polluted cities in the EU, 36 are in Poland. A nation-wide discussion on the air quality and climate change is needed. But the media landscape is fragmented into polarised opinion bubbles. The public media are politicized by the coal-loving ruling party, often openly climate sceptic. Our brief was to start a discussion on the air quality in Poland on UN World Environment Day, educate about climate change and convince people to act to beat the air pollution. Our objective was to reach the largest possible audience and to address diverse points of views. The aim was to influence the behavior of the individuals and encourage actions from the ecological groups. Also, to give our client, UNEP-GRID Warsaw Centre, publicity needed for the discussion with city councils and the Ministry of the Environment.

Describe the creative idea / insights (30% of vote)

Idea: Hacking one of the most famous art objects. The plastic Warsaw Palm is the largest modern art piece in Poland. It has towered over the busy city centre for years to became one of Warsaw's symbols. On UN World Environment Day, we "killed" it. We replaced artificial leaves with real ones that were gray and drooping. After the secret was revealed, we asked people to act. We promised that the eco-actions will bring the Palm back to green. Insight: The Warsaw Palm is a part of the language and the culture ("Let's meet at the Palm"). Many residents say, that relaxing around this symbolic, lush green exotic object helps them to transgress from a gray and smoggy downtown landscape. We addressed that insight - as lots of people are daydreaming about a pollution free and green city, but actually not doing anything about it.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

We segmented TA into: Residents of Warsaw, who were to see the installation and share the experience, Individuals to see the installation thru social media and a broad audience of the anticipated earned media, all age groups and geographies in Poland. Our approach: "when public media are silent, the public art speaks up": with the right idea, the public art installation could do the job of reaching out to a diverse group of people, breaking their media bubbles and sparking a wider discussion. We spent 0 euro on the broadcast media. All campaign's scale was built on one ambient execution. Ahead of the act, we have done the planning of the release and the flow of the information about the installation, to help the act becoming viral in social media and the popular news in the broadcast media.

Describe the execution (20% of vote)

We started with 48 hours teaser. After the remake of the Palm on Friday night no information was released. All involved parties received scripts for contacting the media, which amplified the teasing. We agreed with "Stoleczna" newspaper for a cover teaser article in its Saturday issue. On SM, Warsaw residents started posting as early as Saturday 4 AM. The official Instagram Palm profile was releasing the photos without statement. By Sunday, the installation created "buzz on social media" acc. to New York Times. On Monday the installation was picked up by the regional, national and global media. Also education has started around the Palm, with volunteers, and a dedicated Palm profile. The orchestrated effort reached its crescendo on the World Environment Day. After, the Death Palm popularity was still growing. We ended the campaign with bringing the Palm back to green.

List the results (30% of vote)

The earned media campaign has been broadcasted by 177 major titles in Poland and over 300 globally. It had a total reach of 35,1 M in Poland. The Death Palm has started a life on its own as a meme and a buzz word used by politicians and public figures. In a short time, our Client has given over 12 000 eco certificates to individuals and organizations for modifying their behaviour aimed to help the environment. The Palm has also triggered other ecological organizations in their own acts: Inga Zasowska who started the Holiday Climate Strike said "The Palm has inspired us" as reported by Gazeta Wyborcza. Finally, the Palm immense popularity has helped our Client in the meeting with the Minister of the Environment to discuss the perspectives for better air quality in Poland. A nation-wide discussion on the environment has became a reality.