PR for “Search Racism. Find Truth.”

Client: FCB Zürich

01 | Challenge

Against the background of hundreds of thousands of people seeking refuge in Europe, 2015/16 marked a significant increase in the online incitement of hate and xenophobia towards refugees in Germany and many other countries. Under the pretence of staying anonymous, ever more people turn to social media – especially YouTube and Facebook – to express their rejection towards refugees in particular and people of different ethnicity, colour or religion in general. Nationalistic, chauvinist and self-seeking right-winged populism is on the upswing and openly challenging a view of the world based on liberalism, tolerance and charity.

Instead of resorting to facts and reason, more and more people openly reject established politics and media in favour of dubious opinion leaders or tendentious sources of information. It’s “We, the people” against “the top brass” and feelings rather than facts are starting to shape public opinion.

So, how do you reach people anyway who reject established media outlets and the news they convey as biased (“Lügenpresse”)?

02 | Solution

Together with FCB Zürich, the Berlin-based organization “Flüchtlinge Willkommen” (“Refugees Welcome”) created an innovative online campaign to be implemented on one of the most influential online platforms for spreading xenophobic hate and prejudice in Germany and many other countries worldwide: YouTube.

In 10 unskippable pre-roll videos on YouTube, refugees deliver powerful messages against racism in Europe. So right-wing extremists have to listen to the refugees first, before they can consume the hateful videos they were actually looking for. Furthermore, people typing in specific kewords in Google will be lured to watch the clips by clicking “inviting” Google AdWord ads.

In order to generate as much awareness for the goal as well as for the technical innovation of the campaign “Search racism. Find truth.”, EHRENBERG used a media relations approach broadly targeting B2C and B2B media both in Germany and abroad. Leading key & top tier media have been contacted prior to the campaign´s launch date (April 19, 2016) and provided with extensive advance information to make sure that this important message will be spread in the most powerful way possible. 

This way we have secured major media coverage in Germany from the very beginning of the campaign and set the ball rolling to spread the message internationally.

A bilingual press release has been provided together with a special campaign clip to 830 personalized media contacts in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.

Handling international interview requests directed to the heads of “Flüchtlinge Willkommen” additionally secured long-term coverage and extended media features beyond the initial news “peak” related to the campaign launch itself.

03 | Result

The campaign gained media coverage across almost all parts of the world, including Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. Among others, publications such as DER SPIEGEL, Süddeutsche Zeitung and ARD (Germany), BBC and The Independent (UK), El Periódico (Spain), La Repubblica (Italy), CNN, Mashable and TeenVogue (US) or Euronews (International) covered the campaign. 

In addition to editorial coverage, we created traction and visibility through social media and online blog posts in different countries worldwide with high interaction. The campaign was commented by politicians, the Vatican and millions of people around the globe. 

In total, the campaign resulted in more than 160 million online views, 1,2 million social shares and an estimated add value of more than 12 million.

Throughout the year, the campaign & execution have been awarded with several Cannes Lions, Clio Awards as well as one EuroBest Award. 

Most importantly, the donations for "Flüchtlinge Willkommen" increased by 723%.

Interested in this case?

Tim Kötting
Director Germany

+49 (0)40 68 91 62 707