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Victory by Any Means



Value we created

  • In the first week the campaign was viewed over 4 million times and is the ICRC’s most successful piece of content ever.
  • Reached outside the filter bubble to provoke debate about the Geneva Conventions with an audience who hadn’t engaged with the issue before.

The business problem we solved

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) are the guardians of International Humanitarian Law. The ICRC are responsible for upholding the Geneva Conventions, the basic rules that apply in times of armed conflict and seek to protect non-combatants in the field of battle. As an organistion the ICRC has won the Nobel Peace Prize three times. Despite this important global role, research shows that awareness of the Geneva Conventions and indeed the role of the ICRC itself is decreasing, particularly among a younger demographic.

We were set the challenge of creating a campaign that would engage  millennials and make the often hard to digest Geneva Conventions relevant to a new audience. The campaign had to bring to life the importance of the Geneva Conventions in a compelling way while helping to initiate a conversation with a demographic who may not have been exposed to the ICRC’s work before. 

What we did

In the battle for attention being fought on social media, International Humanitarian Law is often ignored in favour of sound-bite politics which in some cases, actively advocates war crimes. This new wave of social media propaganda often desensitizes people to the very real human cost of breaking the Geneva Conventions.

So in the run up to the US presidential election we released a piece of propaganda of our own – a 1 minute film which began with a seemingly positive political vision that quickly spiralled horrifyingly out of control. The end result was a graphic demonstration of what would happen if gung ho military rhetoric was taken to its logical conclusion. The film concluded with a nightmare vision of a world where the basic rules of war are ignored.


How we did it

With a tiny production budget, we produced a 1 minute film which used a mash up of rhetoric from political speeches and typically vacuous ‘political campaign’ imagery – juxtaposed with real footage of violent conflicts from around the world. The idea was to demonstrate how quickly sensational headlines and soundbites can turn to horrifying reality.

The film was distributed through Facebook and traditional ICRC channels. However, because the ICRC wished to communicate with a younger, less traditionally engaged audience, we looked outside the filter bubble for partners. With this in mind, the campaign was featured on youth network UNILAD, allowing the film and its message to reach and engage an audience who wouldn’t normally engage with the ICRC or the Geneva Conventions. 

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