How Droga5 and Beyoncé helped the UN deliver a billion messages to people across the world using social media.
Video: World Humanitarian Day campaign message featuring Beyoncé.
World Humanitarian Day, which honours fallen peace workers, is probably something you had not heard of until Droga5, Sydney, took the helm. With the help of Grammy-award winning singer and actress Beyoncé, the campaign, an effort for the United Nations, smashed its one billion social reach target following the video release of “I Was Here” – the singer’s latest single donated to the cause as the World Humanitarian Day anthem.
The UN headquarters in New York became an unlikely location for the song’s music video which was filmed in the General Assembly Hall in front of a live audience, produced by Ridley Scott Associates and directed by Kenzo Digital and Sophie Muller. Accompanied by a giant projection, the song told the story of humanitarian work around the globe. The screen used was the biggest indoor screen ever created, weighing over 7,000 lbs and measuring 10,304 square feet.
The campaign was launched with a teaser video of the singer who called on people to “rise together and do one nice thing for another human being”. It also led online viewers to www.whd-iwashere.org, an interactive site allowing people to pin their humanitarian deeds to their location on a map.
The campaign hit its goal of one billion less than 20 minutes before 9am (US EST) on 19 August, which was the deadline to sign up on Thunderclap - a crowdsourcing platform for people who can back messages they support in order to spread the word en masse across the Twitterverse.
Developed by Droga5’s product development studio De-De, Thunderclap was used to aggregate the social reach of each campaign supporter. The platform tallied the number of friends supporters had on Facebook as well as the number of followers they had on Twitter to determine each individual's social reach and add it to the total.
For celebrities, public figures and big brands, such as Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga, Gucci and Oreo, the number of likes each had on their Facebook fan pages was substituted for number of friends, with the Twitter calculation remaining the same. In China, social reach was calculated based on the number of each supporter's ‘Weibo’ followers.
The campaign’s goal was to build awareness of World Humanitarian Day and “help it rise above the general day to day noise” according to David Droga, Droga5’s Founder and Creative Chairman.
Droga told Fast Company “The hope, first and foremost, was to put this on people’s radar.”
“Apart from the UN and a few newsreaders who mention this every year, people don’t even know this day exists. It’s also to make people realise it’s not just about volunteering to go and live in the Congo for four years. It’s as much about working a soup kitchen as it is helping an elderly person. Contributing something positive doesn’t have to be a lifelong commitment; it can just be daily gestures. So, it was about giving the whole issue perspective.”
With the help of the social amplification platform 'Thunderclap', “I Was Here” has become the largest single social media message in history, supported by brands, celebrities and events across the globe.
Video: World UN Humanitarian Day performance video "I Was Here".