Category A06. Not-for-profit / Charity / Government
Idea Creation 2 GO & TRY Vienna, AUSTRIA
Name Company Position
Doris Christina Steiner Ketchum Publico Managing Director & Creative Advisor
Goran Golik go & try Creative Director
M. Alexander Trybus go & try Creative Director
Lydia Körner go & try Graphic Designer
Saskia Schäfer Ketchum Germany PR Execution

Why is this work relevant for Media?

One-third of the population in Germany, Austria and Switzerland come from an immigrant background. But only 5-10% of German media are immigrants. New German Media Makers (NdM) needed to dramatically show the media the imbalance. So, we developed a media strategy to put the topic on every news desk overnight. Since anyone can buy the rights to name a German weather system, we bought the first 13– giving them immigrant names instead of traditional German names. With the first storm, we hijacked every weather report and put NdM’s call for a 30% diversity quota at the epicenter.


New German Media Makers (NdM) is a nonprofit association representing media professionals with immigrant backgrounds. It believes that while Germany has grown more diverse, its media hasn’t. Though the organization has working journalists producing stories on media diversity, the message was largely going into an echo chamber. NdM needed to reach the mainstream population to call for real change: a 30% quota for media enterprises to employ people of immigrant background, black or of colour. Despite being a third of the population, immigrants rarely see their names and faces in German media. One typical oversight takes place daily on the news. In Germany, anyone can inexpensively purchase and name a weather system. It’s popular to do to celebrate a friend, resulting in weather maps with traditional German names like Lisa, Alexander or Margarethe. We recognized an unsuspecting place on broadcast channels to command attention – without any media buy.

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

To make headline news for New German Media Makers and call for increased diversity hires in the media, we hijacked something people talk about every day: the weather. We purchased the names of the first 13 weather highs and lows of 2021 for just €3,500. Instead of giving them traditional German names, we populated the weather map with immigrant names – like Ahmet, Goran, Dragica, Hakim, Chana, Dimitrios, Bartosz, Cemal, Erhan, Jussuf and Bozena. Then we waited for the first storm, knowing that journalists and meteorologists would have no choice but to consider the subject of diversity. Would some members of our German audience resent the sudden appearance of immigrant-sounding names in their news and weather reports? Of course, they would. So entirely organically, we launched a #WeatherCorrection (#Wetterberichtigung) across the region – driving immediate, widespread debate on the lack of media diversity in the controversy and conversation that followed.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

#WeatherCorrection placed NdM’s message where it was least expected – on every TV news desk across the region – triggering an outpouring of positive and negative social discourse without ever addressing or defaming our white majority audience. Timing was crucial, from purchasing the weather names before the public did, to claiming a monopoly on them from the outset of 2021. We’d deal with social media blowback in real-time and garner support from key opinion leaders, policymakers, and diversity allies – anticipating a strong response from rightwing Twitter accounts and political groups. We gave the initiative a face: NdM advocate Ferda Ataman, a respected author and columnist at Der Spiegel. The strategy required no media buy. The weather itself, and every daily meteorologist and news report, would fuel the entire campaign. Besides a few strategic calls to the largest news organizations, we could sit back and watch it go viral.

Describe the execution (20% of vote)

Our campaign launched the moment the first low-pressure system Ahmet developed in January. The next day we announced NdM as sponsor of the initiative, its objective, and the 12 additional names that would be part of the 2021 #WeatherCorrection. In preparation, we had multi-national press releases ready for distribution, unpaid social influencers and diversity advocates poised to respond, a campaign website, and dedicated social channels for sharing real-time content. We even coached media on the correct pronunciation of Ahmet. As #WeatherCorrection trended on Twitter, the campaign engaged politicians, opinion columnists, authors, DE&I activists, meteorologists, and journalists internationally. When members of the far-right AFD party responded with hate speech and false claims, coverage spiked, spurring heated defenses of #WeatherCorrection. We used the spotlight to educate and make the case for diversity hiring quotas. To extend the campaign, we published a daily weather chart and lined up interviews and op/eds.

List the results (30% of vote)

#WeatherCorrection changed the “climate” overnight and inspired an overdue discussion on the importance of achieving a 30% diversity employment quota in German media. It resulted in headline news from virtually every media outlet throughout Germany, Austria and Switzerland, reaching 2 billion+ with 600+ stories. Coverage spilled over internationally in the Guardian, Financial Times, BBC and global outlets as conversation surged on Twitter. 350,000 visited the website. Already, NdM is meeting with 25+ leading news companies and publishing houses – including Stern, GEO, MDR, taz and Thomson Reuters – to share its diversity handbook and discuss diversity quotas. An employee mentoring program has drawn hundreds of applicants. The campaign has permeated German pop culture. #WeatherCorrection even became a game show question on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.” For €16.000: Who or what followed in 2021 after Ahmet, Bartosz, Cemal, Dimitrios, Erhan, Flaviu and Goran? The contestant answered correctly – Hakim.