Press Releases

Ogilvy PR Brussels honoured with a European Excellence Award 2010 for EU campaign on biodiversity

Brussels, Dec 13, 2010 – Ogilvy Public Relations Brussels has been awarded the European Excellence Award for the Best ecology and environment campaign with the pan-European integrated campaign called ‘Biodiversity. We are all in this together’. The campaign was developed for the European Commission’s Directorate-General for the Environment.

The 2010 edition of the European Excellence Awards ceremony was held in Prague, Czech Republic, on 9 December 2010. More than 1,400 entries were submitted and competed to be honoured in a wide range of corporate communications and public relations categories.

Accepting the award on behalf of Ogilvy PR Brussels, Laure Van Hauwaert, head of sustainable communications said, “Ogilvy PR is honoured to receive the European Excellence Award for Ecology and Environment. We recognise the European Commission for its support of this innovative campaign that brought an often-overlooked environmental topic to the mainstream for citizens across Europe. Combining elements of advertising, citizen activation, public relations and digital engagement, this campaign demonstrated the ability of Ogilvy’s integrated communications to reach new levels of success.”

Robert Konrad, Head of the Communication Unit at DG Environment in the European Commission: "We have been impressed with Ogilvy's work on the EU Biodiversity Campaign. They succeeded to translate the complex issue of biodiversity it into an accessible idea that everything in life is connected."

About the campaign
As a part of its Biodiversity action plan, the European Commission, Directorate-General for the Environment selected Ogilvy Group Belgium to develop a pan-European awareness and engagement campaign on the topic. Launched in early 2010, the ‘Biodiversity. We are all in this together’ ( campaign, coincided with the UN-designated International Year of Biodiversity.

Ogilvy developed meaningful ways to connect people and biodiversity using the interconnectedness of humans, animals and plants was both verbally and graphically.

The campaign was divided in two phases:
• The first phase was a wake-up call and was designed to be slightly shocking. People needed to understand that life as they know it is threatened as biodiversity disappears. In this phase, an online experience was created (via a website, a Facebook application, a viral film, online advertisements …) to reach the target audience across Europe. This was combined with getting the news out in cities through outdoor advertisements, print media, PR events and live street art (green graffiti technique to design a crime scene).

• The second phase (still ongoing) aims to make citizens more aware of the role they can play in slowing down and preventing the loss of Biodiversity. It includes an educational component, and stresses in particular how investment in biodiversity conservation will help safeguard the continued provision of nature's benefits (food, medicines, fresh water, pollination, water purification, etc) on which all humans depend. Practical tips and events proposing 'hands on' activities for the public are at the core of this phase.

Ogilvy PR Brussels implemented the strategy and coordinated PR activities including media relations, events and digital influence.

• Press conferences and digital outreach
Ogilvy organised six press conferences across Europe to inform the European citizens about the importance of biodiversity and to invite them to participate in the campaign. National ministries, local branches of NGO’s such as Greenpeace and WWF and local artists and bloggers were invited to participate in press conferences and happenings that were organised in partnership with the local EU representation offices.

• Street happenings in six cities across Europe
A series of street events took place with the crime scene element as a red thread. The first PR event took place in Amsterdam in March 2010: a crime scene zone was drawn using an environmentally friendly graffiti technique, to demonstrate the shocking and scary nature of biodiversity loss. The outlines of animals and plants were drawn on public squares, as police investigators do with corpses. Related text was also written out, to make the link with the campaign website and emphasizing the existing connections between all the elements of nature. So-called crime investigators were walking around to attract people’s attention and distributed information and stencils so that people could make their own drawings (at home, in schools, etc.) and spread the message.
This event was repeated in the following cities: Bucharest, Milan, Sofia, Warsaw and during Green Week (the most important European conference about environmental policy) in Brussels, with the European Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Janez Potočnik who signed off the campaign as a graffiti “guest star”.