Posted by: goyoav | June 20, 2008

THE MOMENT THE INTERNET STOPPED

Hi all, it’s Friday Thing/k.

This week is Cannes Lions 2008 week. It’s the international advertising festival. The Oscar of advertising.

The following campaign that I’d like to share with you won last Monday the Gold Lion for Best Use of Digital Media.

It’s such a powerful campaign in my opinion due to its objectives and its use of the fundamental internet strength – the fact that Internet is always “online”, 24/7. It’s also emphasis the fact that the Internet’s importance today is stronger than ever.

And here is the story.

On July 12th 2006, two Israelis were abducted by the Hezbollah. Since their kidnapping no news about them has been received. To keep their issue a top priority on the public’s and the government’s agenda, the digital agency, Y&R Interactive, knew they had to create an impact no one could stay indifferent to. They decided to launch a campaign that has never been attempted before and engage the country in a whole new way.

Precisely one year after the kidnap, Y&R Interactive invited every major site to stop their activity for five minutes and place a message: “The soldiers cannot be found”. This is a variation of “The Page cannot be found” message appearing when loading an inactive website.

On July 12th 2007, at 09:05 the internet stopped.

All the top 400 Israeli sites answered the call and posted the message. Hundreds more joined the campaign and spontaneously posted the message, using their own designs. Even Google found it important to address the subject.
The impact was so powerful even Israeli television networks and radio stations decided to stop their broadcast, in solidarity.

The campaign received amazing coverage worth millions in free press. The buzz was huge: 65% of the Israeli population was either directly exposed to the action or had heard about it.

That’s an impact. That’s the internet.

Have a good day & weekend,
Yoav

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