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When Is a Body Bag a Medium?

See DDB's Work for Reporters Without Borders

Published on .

Brand: Reporters Without Borders
Brand owner: Reporters Without Borders
Category: Charities
Date: January and May 2005
Country: Belgium
Media Agency: N/A
Other Agency: DDB
Media Owner: N/A

This Cream entry recognizes the media work of an agency from the "creative" side of the business. It is a clear sign that great promotional thinking can cross both ways -- media companies hiring copywriters, and copywriters delivering inspirational media.

DDB's challenge was to promote Reporters Without Borders to elusive and busy policymakers and European influencers in Brussels as well as to the general public across Belgium. Reporters Without Borders is a charity that promotes the right of journalists to report the news across the world -- unfettered by political influence and often brutal oppression. The solution was some engaging -- and quite shocking -- media stunts.

Body bags were emblazoned with a chilling fact: 'This year, 47 journalists came back earlier than expected.'
Body bags were emblazoned with a chilling fact: 'This year, 47 journalists came back earlier than expected.'
The first in January focused on the repressive measures used by regimes to silence reporters, including torture. The agency set up petitions in one of Brussels' chic shopping arcades and at a busy train station. Anyone who signed the petition was rewarded, not with a warm inner glow for doing the right thing, but with an electric shock from the pen they used to sign the document.

In some countries, however, journalists risk their lives and not all survive. To bring home that point, DDB arranged to put body bags on the luggage carousel at Brussels Airport for one day in May 2005. The body bags carried the information that "This year, 47 journalists came back earlier than expected."

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Cream is a U.K.-based magazine owned by C Squared Communications aimed at highlighting the best in creative media worldwide. All media ideas are part of C Squared's Creative Media Database. www.csquared.cc
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