TKF and Greenpeace send a clear message for climate protection

On Sunday, Switzerland will vote on the climate protection law. For Greenpeace Switzerland, TKF has developed a national referendum campaign that aims to get young, urban Swiss people in particular to vote in favor of the law for more climate protection. talked to those responsible about the campaign.

The campaign is aimed primarily at young, urban voters. A major challenge is that 40 percent of this target group are still undecided or do not plan to vote. The campaign aims to reach these people in particular and sensitize them to the issue of climate protection. The campaign motto "YES clearly" is intended to make it clear that protecting the climate should be a matter of course nowadays.

Sympathy offensive instead of admonishing fingers

The campaign presents itself formally activist, but in a polite way. A climate cloud in Greenpeace green serves as a sympathetic sender and is used as a sticker, patch, on T-shirts, flyers and online in the form of emojis, stickers, GIFs and memes in social media.

The cross-media online campaign focuses mainly on display banners in national news channels and social media platforms. Reactive real-time banners are also used, which can react directly to current news.

On and offline activism with meme spreader and excuse generator

A central element of the campaign is the Landing pagewhere the Greenpeace community can actively participate, comment and share the "YES clear" message. Using an "online meme spreader," the community can respond with memes to the most common lies of opponents. A special WhatsApp group also provides ongoing support to participants in spreading the message and dealing with climate deniers. And an "AI Excuse Generator" is designed to provide entertainment and encourage sharing by generating absurd excuses for non-voters.

The campaign is complemented by upcycling events throughout Switzerland. Participants can upgrade their used clothing to campaign clothing with screen printing. The landing page also offers activists posters, stickers and flyers for individual actions throughout the country.

The campaign arrives

The success of the campaign will ultimately be measured by whether the climate protection law is accepted by the population on Sunday. However, there are already positive reactions - especially from the young, urban population, according to those responsible.

The more than four million impressions generated by the advertising media so far show pleasing click rates. The real-time banners, which refer to the content of the respective news articles, have a click rate that is twice as high as that of the regular banners. In addition, the memes on the landing page were eagerly shared by supporters, and the "excuse generator" was bubbling away absurdly. The upcycling events in various cities also attracted hundreds of people. Now we have to keep our fingers crossed for the climate and hope that the intended target group has understood the call and will cast a clear YES into the ballot box on 18.6.


"Different, visually appealing content should arouse the curiosity of the young target group" spoke with Marco Piffaretti (pictured left) and Nathan Solothurnmann (pictured right) from Greenpeace, as well as with the other implementation partners Tim Stockmar from TKF, Sandro Covo from Digital/Organizing and Sonam Wieland from Forward about the high-impact campaign. The "JA klar" campaign focuses on politeness and sympathy. Was there a conscious decision not to use a more specific tone?

Tim Stockmar: The campaign focuses first and foremost on the fact that voting for the climate should be a matter of course. However, we deliberately combine the activist-style messages with our likeable climate cloud, because we are convinced that our target group will then perceive the messages more strongly in social media and share them with a good feeling.

Nathan Solothurnmann: The climate protection law does not pronounce bans, but wants to promote the switch to renewables with government subsidies. Many left-green people have long been aware of the urgency regarding climate heating. The campaign is therefore primarily about picking up these people with a positive message and motivating them to vote. Furthermore, the campaign should also appeal to people in the political center and show them the advantages of the new law. Climate alarmism would therefore be out of place. Nevertheless, the campaign uses apt images to show what needs to be protected, and also takes a side swipe at the opposition - namely the SVP.


Getting young people to vote is a common problem: What makes your campaign different?

Marco Piffaretti: The visual campaign consists mainly of type and the iconic cloud logo. This gives the opportunity to easily generate different, visually appealing content that arouses the curiosity of the young target group. To dominate the online world, we created the memes spreader. Using common and funny memes, this replicates what works on social media - and especially with a young audience.


In addition, you rely on artificial intelligence for the "excuse generator".

Piffaretti: By using Artificial Intelligence for the "Excuse Generator", we combined technology with humor and also tried to address - young - non-voters:inside with this tool in a new, attractive way. Finally, we also had the screen-printing events professionally photographed and thus again portrayed a cool and confident movement on the online channels. For this campaign, the priority is Instagram.


Were there any reactions from the opposing camp to the generated content?

Piffaretti: The reactions of the opponents were limited to the expected comments on social media. These were either countered by the "Social Media Warriors", a group on WhatsApp, other users and us (Greenpeace) or we deleted them.


How was the excuse generator realized?

Sandro Covo: GPT 3.5, a model of OpenAI, runs in the background. We combine the user's input with a prompt and a response is generated.


What are the limits of the function?

Covo: The model only knows what is also in the training data, so it does not know the neighbor or the grandmother in most cases. It is also not a joke machine that always delivers the perfect punchline. The whole thing only becomes funny in the context of the entire campaign and thanks to the creativity of the users. We also had to make sure that the prompt did not generate any discriminatory or hurtful excuses.


How are the reactive real-time banners implemented?

Sonam Wieland: For lightning-fast advertising placements on hand-picked articles, all booking agreements with the media and the technical measures must be made in advance. A team continuously monitors the coverage and makes the implementation decision for reactive ads. Based on this, the creation team creates ads and the technical implementation takes place. Predefined processes and standardized templates keep response times to a minimum. The overall process results in higher effort, but generates surprising and attention-grabbing ad placements.


However, the effort for the reactive banners seems to be worth it: They achieve a click rate twice as high as the regular ones. Will you rely more on this type of advertising in the future?

Wieland: This is an exciting campaign module that we are happy to use again. However, we are heavily dependent on media coverage of certain topics, which places clear limits on scaling. The campaign should therefore consist of several modules to ensure the desired reach.

Responsible at Greenpeace Switzerland: Georg Klingler (Climate Campaigner); Marco Piffaretti (Digital Campaigner); Yara Hostettler (Volunteer Coordination); Nathan Solothurnmann (Project Coordination) Franziska Neugebauer (Visual Content Producer); Mathias Schlegel (Media Strategy). Responsible at TKF Communication & Design: Tim Stockmar (Creative Direction); Alexander Fürer (Strategy & Copy); Matthias Eberle (Art Direction); Nina Boschetti (Graphics); Larissa Ebneter (Consulting); Jan Thoma (Development). Responsible at Forward Advertising: Sonam Wieland (Digital Media Strategist); Andrea Kloter (Programmatic Trader).

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