Cash-in-hand Crackdown

In Denmark, Reminding Young Workers to Pay Taxes

Published on .

Brand: SKAT
Brand Owner: Government of Denmark
Category: Government/public sector
Region: Denmark
Date: March 2007 to May 2007
Media Agency: PHD
Other Agencies: TBWA
Media Channels: TV, Ambient, Media First

Communicating the message that "cash in hand" employment is detrimental to society is a challenge in itself, notwithstanding the target group being youngsters aged 15-20. So the government of Denmark turned to unconventional platforms to create the necessary impact and discourage the young workers from avoiding paying taxes.
That ad for a job was really a guerrilla marketing stunt by the Danish government.
That ad for a job was really a guerrilla marketing stunt by the Danish government.

The campaign's key visual was a no-entry sign declaring "No entry for those who work cash in hand." Signs were placed at parks, libraries and museums, and banners and barrier foils were used at Copenhagen's metro stations. A traditional TV campaign was augmented by a branded-content collaboration with youth-orientated TV channel The Voice, in which hosts addressed the issue in more appropriate language.

The campaign highlight was a guerrilla stunt that saw the posting of fake job advertisements in apartment blocks and supermarkets countrywide, and in Second Life, offering a substantial extra wage though "cash in hand" work. Respondents received a big surprise upon ringing the number: a recorded actor's message at first mentioning the lucrative nature of the offer before explaining the many pitfalls like no paid holiday, notice period or occupational compensation. A SKAT employee then grabs the handset to deliver a warning about cash in hand work before hanging up.

The integrated campaign was a huge success. It was the first time a Danish government campaign had used such a variety of platforms. Almost 4,000 people responded to the fake ads and all national broadcast media featured the story. Subsequent studies of youth attitudes showed that almost 40% had absorbed the message.

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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.
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