Using the power of creativity and the media, public education campaigns can change the world for the better. Through Creative for Good, an online initiative hosted and led by the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Media, you can find ideas, inspiration and the tools to create new campaigns that promote social causes.

From tackling domestic violence to persuading guerrillas to disarm, below are five powerful public education campaigns intended to help organizations around the world emulate their success:

1.      Bell Bajao

Across India, men and boys have begun to stop violence against women with one simple action: when they hear a violent argument inside a nearby home, they ring the doorbell to interrupt. Where did they get this idea? From Breakthrough’s award-winning Bell Bajao (Ring the Bell) campaign, which uses powerful television ads and community education to inspire people to stop violence against women. Bell Bajao has reached over 130 million people, trained over 75,000 young women’s rights leaders and changed public attitudes toward violence.

2.      Germany Will Find You

Under the slogan “Deutschland findet euch” (“Germany will find you”), this national campaign in Germany has helped track down missing children using different types of media, including social media, the Internet, posters, a mobile app, an interactive music video and promotional activities. Thanks to the campaign, four missing children have already been found.

3.      At Christmas Everything Is Possible

Rather than relying on communicating government message via mass media, this campaign used the power of Christmas to encourage FARC members in Colombia to disarm. By lightening jungle paths used by the guerrillas with thousands of Christmas lights, the campaign promotes the following message: “If Christmas can come to the jungle, you can come home. Demobilize”.

4.      Integration Day – CoorDown

Italy’s CoorDown organization campaigns for the integration of people with Down syndrome into society, particularly the work environment. To raise public awareness, the Integration Day campaign developed alternative versions of commercials of well-known national and international brands, substituting the original actors with an actor that has Down syndrome. The campaign generated the equivalent of nearly €5.5 million worth of coverage and reached around 18 million people, a third of the Italian population.

5.      The Passage

Since the economic downturn, homelessness in London has increased by 8% and donations have fallen significantly. “The Passage” is the largest voluntary day-centre for homeless people in London. The campaign shows volunteers with a regular income begging for cash donations from commuters at Victoria, one of London’s busiest train stations. The campaign questions whether people would give more money if they saw the homeless as people just like themselves. With a successful media campaign supporting “the passage”, over 65,000 people were reached and cash donations for the campaign increased by 25%.

Creative for Good is a joint initiative of the World Economic Forum, the Ad Council and Ketchum. The World Economic Forum’s Summit on the Global Agenda took place in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, last week.

Author: Diana El-Azar is Senior Director, Head of Media, Entertainment and Information Industries, at the World Economic Forum.

Image: A man takes a photo as an aerobatic team form a haert shape using asmoke trails during an air show REUTERS/Vivek Prakash.




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