Getting students to shed blood for peace on September 21.
Peace One Day is an organization founded by British filmmaker Jeremy Gilley. He convinced the United Nations to adopt an annual day of global cease-fire and non-violence — Peace Day, September 21. Teaming up with Google, Jeremy asked us to not only raise awareness of the day, but also give people, specifically college students, a way to participate that would have a direct impact on global conflict to Shed Blood for Peace.
"Together we can decrease the level of violence,
raise awareness of our activities and save lives around the world. The impact of a day of global ceasefire
and non-violence cannot be underestimated."
– Jeremy Gilley, actor, filmmaker and founder of Peace One Day
Peace One Day was a good idea in 2001, but people weren't participating in the large numbers it deserved. There was a need for September 21 to be more impactful especially in a world where we feel helpless or oversaturated in imagery of white doves, ribbons, and olive branches. They needed something to do. It had to be easy, quick, free — and meaningful.
Target the loud and volatile
We targeted higher-ed students in China, U.S. and India (3 largest economies). This diverse group is immersed heavily in social media and apps daily and takes a deep interest in social activism, especially when it's easy or convenient. Yet, this group is less likely to donate financially, don't live in combat zones and therefore feel powerless at times. They can quickly recognize hype associated with "greater good" initiatives. Relying on their "bullshit detectors" they will quickly question and criticize a disingenuous or half effort and praise those that cut through the clutter in being truthful with no corporate interests attached. Our communications must not only be provocative, but crafted to show Peace Day is a genuine effort and that their participation is crucial. Their brand recognition of Google as the worldwide leader of search is very high and would also help garner their trust and enthusiasm.
Passive isn't peaceful.
How it could be done
We would create the world's largest blood donation event, Shed Blood for Peace, on September 21. Google's resources would let donors track their blood, allowing them to see where they are having a direct impact on the world. This would require teaming up with the Red Cross and various blood banks to transport blood to combat zones or areas of constant blood shortage.
Why it works
A defined supply
Giving blood is free and relatively easy for most college students to do but also is the most extraordinary thing you can do for another human being. War-torn areas, combat zones or areas of constant unrest rank blood supplies as a critical need.
Most college campuses kickoff the fall semester mid-August. This makes college orientations useful in spreading the word (with adequate notice) of the very important upcoming date of September 21. We would work closely with international student organizations and humanitarian clubs, not only to distribute information during orientations, but also to champion the event on campus.
to announce event
Non-donors can play
an integral part
People who do not give blood are able to see the impact of Shed Blood for Peace and follow Jeremy Gilley's journey to the combat zones alongside the blood donations. Throughout the campaign, we would create opportunities for people who cannot donate to volunteer their time and to encourage others who can donate.
Continue engagement beyond September
The area that received your donation can be researched more with Google Alerts so that you can stay up-to-date on the news and commentary on that combat zone even after September 21. Twitter and Facebook would also extend the conversation beyond Peace Day through real-time posts on areas that received donations and new areas of conflict or unrest. Jeremy Gilley would also host Google Hangouts to discuss Peace Day activities. Twitter would also be used to tease event information months before the next Peace Day. The colleges and universities who did not participate could be targeted for the next Peace Day and directed to the various resources to make it possible.
Art Director: J.D. Humphreys, Swara Rane
Copywriter: Jake Dubs, Carly Shearer
Creative Director: Robert Wong, Charles Hall
Agency: Google, VCU Brandcenter
Client: Peace One Day / Google