With 5,000 drowned refugees, 2016 was the deadliest year ever on the Mediterranean. This dramatic development received less and less coverage in the media. Sea-Eye asked us to explore how the ongoing catastrophe can be given renewed attention.
When we started the project, it quickly became clear that we could not buy the attention we hoped for. We had to earn it: in social media; with the help of those who are particularly engaged there.
We asked ourselves: How do we get young people interested in a subject they no longer want to see? Our short answer: by thinking indifference through to the end!
Our long answer began with a trailer for “Schlepperkönig”. A mobile game in which the player who brings the most refugees across the Mediterranean wins. We shared this trailer on Facebook.
The outcry was huge. Thousands of users called on us to stop the scandalous advertising. Austrian and international media picked up the story and reported on the game.
We tried to weather the shitstorm and practiced patience. At the height of the outrage, we targeted all users which have seen the original ad with another trailer. This time we addressed the real scandal: a game advertised on Facebook is causing more outrage than 5,000 drowned refugees.
The campaign reached over 8 million people and brought the catastrophe back into the news. But most of all we were thrilled to learn: the month of the campaign was the most successful fundraising month in Sea-Eye’s history.