Preparing For the Worst

24 Hours of Reality – case study (Silver Lion/Integrated Branded Content Winner)

Credits: Fearless Revolution, Electric Pulp, Ustream and m ss ng p eces.

In 2011, millions of people’s lives were upended by the reality of climate change. In the US alone, we experienced a record-breaking $12 billion weather-related disasters in 2011. The Climate Reality Project set out to change the conversation the media was portraying about the climate crisis, from one of Doubt and Denial, to an acknowledgement of Reality. For the last few years, the scale and scope of the climate crisis has been diminished in the public’s eye by a propaganda campaign funded by Big Oil, Big Coal and their ideological allies. Using the same tactics used in the fight against tobacco regulation, they have seeded Doubt into the media’s coverage of climate change. Despite an overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is man-made – they have created the appearance of a debate where there is none, by repeating over and over that the science isn’t settled. We decided to create our own media event, called 24 Hours of Reality – a global, live-streamed event, broadcast from every time zone. The event connected the dots between extreme weather and climate change, and exposed the tactics being used by Big Oil and Big Coal. Leading up to the event, we made climate change part of the cultural conversation again with 2 videos declaring that the time for Doubt and Denial was over. We asked our supporters around the world to donate their social streams to Reality. This allowed us to reach millions during the event by sending hourly messages through their Facebook and Twitter accounts. Through a combination of live presentations, discussions with experts and packaged content and documentaries, we provoked a conversation around the world about the impact of the climate crisis, and how Big Oil and Big Coal were duping the public.

– 2 spots were created to generate buzz leading up to the event. An online press team seeded them with global press and blogs, and they were placed in paid media. – A ‘Donate Your Social Media’ mechanism was created. People gave us access to push a message every hour to their friends on Facebook and/or Twitter about the event.

After a major press and social media outreach campaign utilising our creative assets, 67,465 people RSVP’d on Facebook to the event. On September 13th, we began broadcasting live from Mexico City, and by the time Al Gore closed the 24th presentation from our studio in New York, 5,896,125 people had tuned in around the world, and spent an astounding average of 58 minutes watching. The stream was accessed over 6.8m times. Over 300 stories had run online, in print and on TV about the event. #Reality and @ClimateReality were mentioned 57,873 times on twitter. @AlGore was tweeted at 16,436 times. During the event, a new comment was added every 3.25 seconds. In the end, 24 Hours of Reality racked up 638m global media impressions. Most importantly, we have seen a lasting impact in the way the media is portraying the climate crisis – not as a debate, but as Reality. Major network and cable news outlets have run serious pieces about the connection between climate change and extreme weather, including NBC, ABC and CNN.

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