Effies show how adland is adapting to straitened times

BrooklynBros_770x580pxThe awards show is now a serious commercially focused effectiveness event, Gurdeep Puri says.

When the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted in April 2010, tourism to Iceland plummeted. Negative stories spread online and the country was left with a projected £180 million shortfall in revenue. The Brooklyn Brothers and the Icelandic government created an idea that used people power rather than traditional broadcast-led travel communications to tempt tourists back to Iceland.

To kick-start the campaign, the agency stopped the entire country for an hour – “Iceland Hour” – and got people to tell their stories to the world. To promote the stories, viral ads, live webcam feeds, Facebook pages and films were created, featuring celebrities including Bjork, Damon Albarn and Stephen Fry. The campaign brought an extra £154.1 million to the Icelandic economy with a ROMI of 62.7:1.

The idea showed how a country of only 318,000 people, with a budget of just £2 million, created a new type of tourism campaign that used people as media to rapidly change the perceptions of tourists globally. It is also one of the only social media effectiveness papers to offer a model of how social media works in a commercial environment.

The “inspired by Iceland” campaign won the Grand Prix at the European Effectiveness Awards this week, and The Brooklyn Brothers was named “Agency of the Year”.

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