Campaign: WWF’s Earth Hour 2009
Winner: World Wildlife Fund & Creaxion
On March 28, 2009, at 8:30 p.m., hundreds of millions of people from around the world came together in a global call for action on climate change. The crux of their statement: one hour of darkness, as participants from all corners of the globe switched off their lights.
This event was the culmination of months of planning and preparation on the parts of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and partner Creaxion.
To coordinate the hour of darkness in which individuals, businesses and cities simultaneously turned off nonessential lights, the team implemented several strategies:
• Presenting simple, accessible and inclusive messaging—used locally, nationally and globally—to communicate with an engaging tone;
• Position the event as the first global election on climate change, with participants using their light switch as a ballot;
• Fostering an open-source, grassroots environment for people to use tools WWF created to take ownership of the event;
• Securing early commitments from local government officials and iconic cultural landmarks to help build momentum and generate buzz; and,
• Maximize the reach of messaging through media, community groups, professional organizations and social networks.
These strategies, coupled with a spectrum of specific tactics, resulted in an estimated 80 million participants in the United States alone. Earth Hour was among the top trending topics on Twitter for two full days, and participants sent more than 100,000 letters to members of Congress, urging them to take action on climate change.
Blaze PR & Walk With Sally: White Night White Light—Blaze PR helped the Walk With Sally nonprofit stage its annual fundraiser for programs that mentor children whose parents/siblings have been lost to cancer, ultimately raising more than $100,000—twice the original goal.