While I am at it and posting some of the video campaigns that the UN has put out recently, I really should include this one that was for the International Day of UN Peacekeepers, which this year was promoting women in peacekeeping.

This was a multi-faceted campaign that included a large travelling photo exhibit, a website, posters, press conferences, a number of other promotional activities around the world, and this short film that we put up on YouTube and the website.



“If you had the opportunity to speak to world leaders, what would you say?”

That’s the question being asked in the “Citizen Ambassadors to the United Nations” campaign just launched by the UN in an attempt to get people from around the world to engage with the UN General Assembly.

The campaign asks citizens to reply to videos posted on YouTube by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN Messenger of Peace George Clooney, in which they ask the question.

It’s another illustration of the way in which the United Nations is trying to use social media to engage people. Will it work? We’ll see. In the meantime you can view the videos at the UN’s dedicated YouTube page and judge for yourself if you think the campaign is off to a good start.

Here’s a useful piece from mashable.com that gives you an idea how organizations could or should tackle the issue of social media and how far to try to regulate its use. If your organization doesn’t already have its own policy on social media, or if you are in any way involved in a discussion about the issue, you might well find this helpful.


Mobilizing for ‘Hopenhagen’

September 25, 2009

The UN Secretary-General’s top priority issue is climate change, specifically getting world leaders to ‘seal the deal’ by signing a meaningful climate change treaty in Copenhagen in December. In order to promote this, the UN has partnered with the International Advertising Association and “a coalition of the world’s leading advertising, marketing and media agencies” to launch their the ‘Hopenhagen’ campaign, anchored by an interactive website that, among other things asks you to sign a petition and say “what gives you hope for a better planet”.

Here are some excerpts of the press release announcing the launch of the campaign that point to the social networking aspect of the effort and also offer insight into the elements that make up a truly integrated communications effort:

Hopenhagen is a global marketing and communications initiative that will inspire and generate mass activation around the world.

“Climate change is one of the epic challenges facing this and future generations. World leaders will come together for the Copenhagen climate change conference in December and every citizen of the world has a stake in the outcome. It is time to seal a deal. We need a global movement that mobilizes real change,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Hopenhagen is about more than hope. “It is about global action for a global climate treaty and a better future for humankind,” Ban added.

“Climate change is a universal challenge, and we believe the world’s citizens are ready to act – they are just seeking the right platform,” said IAA Executive Director Michael Lee. “The strategy and stunning creative concept for the Hopenhagen idea came from WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather team, digital framework and direction were developed by MDC Partner’s Colle+McVoy, and the global PR and messaging plans spearheaded by Omnicom’s Ketchum. The collaboration that has taken place among the world’s leading agencies to develop this campaign for the United Nations is unprecedented and a testament to the significance the industry places on the need for action to address climate change.”

The creative concept of Hopenhagen stemmed from the idea that the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen is an opportunity to protect people and the planet and to power global green growth in order to adjust the fate of the planet. The campaign creative will emphasize the need to shift from “coping” or ignoring our global challenges to “hoping” and ultimately acting to create a new reality.

“We believe in the power of movements to inspire and bring about real change,” said Tham Khai Meng, Worldwide Creative Director of Ogilvy & Mather. “Hopenhagen was created to be a campaign of the people. It provides a platform for individuals around the world to participate and have a say in the future of the world.”

Hopenhagen will be modeled as an open source campaign that is powered by the people and created in the voice of global citizens. The creative inputs from the diverse viewpoints of visitors engaging with the site from around the world will be used to generate online and offline content.

The diverse and complementary team of communication agencies that have volunteered time, resources and dedicated team members to develop and execute the Hopenhagen campaign include: Dentsu; Havas, represented by Euro RSCG and MPG; Interpublic Group, represented by McCann Worldgroup, R/GA and Draftfcb; MDC Partners, represented by Colle+McVoy; Omnicom, represented by Ketchum, Interbrand and Tribal DDB; Publicis Groupe, represented by Digitas and Saatchi & Saatchi S; WPP, represented by Ogilvy & Mather. Chairman of the creative council was Bob Isherwood, former Worldwide Creative Director of Saatchi & Saatchi.

A website, hopenhagen.org, will serve as the campaign hub, where visitors may learn about climate change issues, express their vision for the future of the planet and send a message to the delegates attending the UN Climate Change Conference to work together to finalize a strong, global climate change treaty.

An aggressive consumer launch of Hopenhagen will take place in September 2009 and continue through the UN Climate Change Conference in December and beyond. The coming months will be spent engaging key influencers, advocates and partners that will be instrumental in creating viral awareness of the campaign. The IAA is calling on all businesses, governments, nonprofits and citizens to join together to grow and develop the Hopenhagen movement.

The Hopenhagen movement is intended to be an open source campaign that all nonprofits, governments and citizens of the world can make their own. The campaign has already had early successes with this model, securing an endorsement from the Danish Foreign Ministry.

September 25, 2009