Changing ingrained attitudes and old habits are tall orders. The right message, delivered the right way, makes all the difference. That’s why the European Commission turned to the engagement experts at ICF for two important projects.
Reform was coming to one of Europe’s oldest and most controversial policies — the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Knowing we had to act fast on a campaign to raise awareness and shape opinion, we went straight to the people. A strong theme of the importance of trust emerged from interviews we conducted in 12 countries.
Our campaign had to restore trust among those who had lost touch with Europe’s agricultural roots and the many farmers who didn’t appreciate the European Union. In just weeks, we produced a website, videos, posters, brochures, and a TV ad to address the challenge. We balanced creative storytelling with key insights from our research to produce a campaign that promoted the reformed CAP as the essential link to protecting both the future of Europe’s farming and rural life as well as its agricultural production.
In a second project, we focused on recycling. While recycling sparks much less controversy, inspiring people to do it more often is still a hefty challenge. To reach our target 25- to 40-year-old crowd, we took an unconventional approach, revitalizing an existing campaign with The Awakeners—animated characters who invite the public to join their quest to change consumption habits.
Thanks to the ingenuity of our team, the flagship Awakeners video generated eight million views; the website (in 24 languages) had over 1,000,000 visitors, and the Facebook page gained more than 40,000 fans in just eight months.