‘Follow2unfollow’ social media effort sweeps Cannes
“Follow2unfollow,” the Twitter-led campaign developed as a crime deterrent, won multiple Lion Awards recently at the Cannes Lions Festival in the south of France. The campaign, led by Starcom MediaVest Group Puerto Rico for the Puerto Rican government, won a Silver and a Bronze Public Relations Lions, a Bronze Promo & Activation Lion and a Bronze Media Lion.
The Promo & Activation win represents the first time a media agency has won in that category.
“We are incredibly proud of ‘Follow2unfollow,’ and thrilled at these multiple wins,” said Monica Gadsby, CEO, US multicultural & Latin America. “The campaign represents an innovative use of social media, using Twitter to provoke real time social change. My congratulations to the entire team at SMG Puerto Rico on this prestigious and important win.”
The year 2011 ended as the most violent in the history of Puerto Rico. “Follow2unfollow” was the result of an effort by the Puerto Rican government to reach youth with a personal and relevant message by enabling real-time dialogue between convicted criminals and free citizens. SMG Puerto Rico worked with the government to give Internet access to three inmates so they could set up Twitter accounts and share how miserable prison really is with everyday people on the outside.
In effort to spread the message of the campaign, SMG Puerto Rico leveraged its relationships with top media vendors, who agreed to donate their advertising inventory and space for the project.
With a zero dollar media investment, the campaign delivered more than $1.1 million in earned media, reaching more than 90 percent and 44 percent awareness.
Additionally, the inmates’ Twitter accounts attracted thousands of followers on the week after the launch, and in only two months attracted a staggering 23 percent of Puerto Rico’s total Twitter population. Ultimately, 54 percent of Puerto Rico’s young adults said they would reconsider their actions to avoid a life of crime, SMG said.