The promotion is part of a year-long $1.3 million campaign which comes under the auspices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and is funded by the European Commission, though Y&R gave its time gratis. It also includes educational material aimed at teenagers.
The ads are produced in the 11 official EU languages and will appear in all 15 member states, with media owners asked to distribute them free of charge. In addition, a campaign leaflet and poster will be circulated through the EU and a Web site will be created as a forum for debate and information.
The ads, created by Y&R, London, and adapted for each market by local Y&R agencies, show an everyday situation with which everyone can easily identify -such as children playing - that's suddenly transformed into a situation that makes people flee for their lives. "Now you know where refugees are coming from...you can make them feel a bit more welcome," is the tagline.
For the following year, the UNHCR plans new TV and print ads, a TV documentary and an educational pack for slightly younger people, 11-to-14 year olds. Focus groups will be held in six EU countries to help evaluate the first year's campaign and determine the next.
Copyright February 1999, Crain Communications Inc.