When four women set out to fight the negative impact tourism was having on the small Pacific Island nation of Palau, little did they know they were about to create the world’s most successful eco-tourism campaign.
Not only did The Palau Pledge campaign recently win three Grand Prix, including the coveted Titanium Title at Cannes Lions and the Black Pencil at D&AD, it changed the countries immigration policy. All visitors to the country are now requested to sign The Pledge stamped into their passport.
Tourism is Palau’s biggest form of income, but as the thirteenth smallest nation in the world, its annual visitor numbers are almost eight times the size of its population and the island was beginning to suffer.
The pro bono campaign executed by Australian creative agency Host/Havas had zero media budget so had to rely on a powerful idea to achieve recognition.
The Palau Pledge Campaign consisted of:
- Video (above) played on every inbound flight to Palau
- Collaborating with the Palauan Government to have The Palua Pledge physically stamped (and signed) on every guest’s passport as they enter the country
- A website providing information on sustainability for visitors
- Signage and information packs available at the airport and throughout the country
Why they nailed it:
- Created a message that resonates with all nationalities
- Educated and entertained
- Warm communication carrying a serious message
- Clever creative (everyone loves a good metaphor)
- Minimalistic production style – makes it relatable
- Different enough to attract attention
- Pulled on our heart strings – written and voice by children
- Created a new media channel – the passport
- Showcased the features of the country without being a typical tourism campaign
The initiative has been backed by activists and celebrities including Leonardo DeCaprio and The Rolling Stones. The Australian Government also contributed $60,000 to support its next stage of development.