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2012 Winners & Shortlists

THE RETURN OF DICTATOR BEN ALI

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ClientENGAGEMENT CITOYEN
ProductTUNISIAN ELECTIONS
EntrantMEMAC OGILVY LABEL TUNISIA Tunis, TUNISIA
Type of EntryPR: Technique
CategoryBEST USE OF LIVE EVENTS, STUNTS AND OR CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT
TitleTHE RETURN OF DICTATOR BEN ALI
Product/ServiceTUNISIAN ELECTIONS
Entrant Company:MEMAC OGILVY LABEL TUNISIA Tunis, TUNISIA
PR/Advertising Agency:MEMAC OGILVY LABEL TUNISIA Tunis, TUNISIA

The Campaign

After decades of dictatorship, Tunisians had finally overthrown Ben Ali. But a few weeks before their first ever free elections, it seemed people didn't want to use their regained power. Only 55% at best were planning to vote. Thus forgetting the main objective of the Revolution: Democracy for Tunisia. Our Brief: Convert this apathy into action. To do so we needed to re-awaken people's political engagement with a strong and effective reminder. So we showed the Tunisian people that if they didn't vote, their Revolution was in vain and pointed out the real danger of abstention: the possible return of dictatorship. A few days before the elections, we set up a provocative and visually engaging PR stunt. We put back up a giant poster of Ben Ali. The poster inevitably provoked protests leading people to tear it down. But when they did so, they discovered another poster underneath saying: BEWARE, DICTATORSHIP CAN RETURN. ON OCTOBER 23RD, VOTE. To reach a wider audience, the stunt was filmed and converted into a viral video. The event immediately made the headline news and successfully encouraged behaviour change as 88% turnout was reached. Far higher than the expected 55%.

The Brief

Engagement Citoyen, a non-profit organization that aims to promote Tunisians' democratic awakening, asked us: 1) to raise awareness on the importance of voting for Tunisia's democratic future. 2) to turn apathy into action and inspire a higher turnout at upcoming elections. The target audience was all Tunisian citizens who had the age to vote.

Results

The video spread online and people immediately engaged through social networks, generating tens of thousands of calls for action. Lots of them spontaneously changed their social media profile picture for our second poster, including Tunisia's future President Marzouki. Within a few hours, getting out and vote had become the ultimate phase of the Revolutionary process. Visits on Engagement Citoyen's website increased by 461%. In the evening, the campaign was aired on all Tunisian and Arabic TV news. Tunisia's most watched international media, Al Jazeera, Al Arabya, Arabic CNN, TF1, Canal+,TV5 monde invited Engagement Citoyen's members to talk about the campaign. The next day, it generated fantastic comments from the whole Arab world. With the campaign's success, we were even offered standard outdoor for the second poster! Most Importantly, the campaign helped people understand that their individual vote could make a difference. 88% turnout was reached when 55% only was expected.

Execution

4 days before the vote, we put back up Ben Ali's poster. The exact same one that had been torn down in the first hours of the Revolution. The poster inevitably provoked protests leading the residents to tear it down. But when they did so, they discovered another one underneath: BEWARE, DICTATORSHIP CAN RETURN. ON OCTOBER 23RD, VOTE. To reach a wider audience: 1) The stunt was filmed and converted into a viral video under the title Ben Ali is back. 2) Political web activists were invited to the event. 3) Press release, photographs, videos and interviews of witnesses were sent to the media. Engagement Citoyen's website and Facebook page gave neutral and simplified informations on the candidates' programs.

The Situation

Within a few months, Tunisia went from 23 years of dictatorship and one only political party to its first ever free and fair elections, 1,600 candidates to choose from and over exposure to countless political messages. As a direct result of the confusion that arose, many had completely lost interest in politics. Polls showed only 55% at best were planning to vote. The problem: With such a low turnout there was genuine concern that one of the old regime's parties could be elected. Their partisans were mobilised and well organised.

The Strategy

To re-awaken people's sense of political engagement, we needed an effective reminder. Tunisians are very proud of their Revolution and fiercely protective of what they have achieved. They are willing to defend it with their lives if necessary. So we showed them that if they didn't vote, their Revolution was in vain. And we did it in a very physical way to give the people something tangible they could rally around. And in a very provocative way in order for the media to pick up on our message. We put back Ben Ali's giant poster in La Goulette and let people experience live the real danger of abstention: the return of dictatorship !

Credits

Name Company Position
Nicolas Courant Memac Ogilvy Label Creative Director
Gérald Héraud Memac Ogilvy Label Associate Creative Director
Mehdi Lamloum/Asma Kanzari/Yosri Mimouna Memac Ogilvy Label Copywriters
Yassine Boughaba Memac Ogilvy Label Art Director
Cherifa Ben Slamia Memac Ogilvy Label Strategic Planner
Aziz M'bazaia/Moez Nemsi/Bedis Benamor Memac Ogilvy Label Agency Producers
Ulfet Fourati/Olfa Khalil Arem Engagement Citoyen Vice-President
Imed Marzouk Propaganda Producer
Fedh Chabbi Propaganda Director