General information

Sector: Human rights, non-profit

Media: Linear TV

Time period: 23rd November 2022 - 21:00

Case description

As the 2022 World Cup in Qatar approached, RMB were keen not to undermine their commitment to human rights as the sales house of a public service broadcaster. RMB approached Amnesty International to come up with the best way to take action while accepting its position as the commercial arm of the broadcaster responsible for marketing RTBF advertising inventory around the World Cup coverage.

Amnesty International were clear that, over the past 10 years, no stone was left unturned to stop the human rights violations in Qatar, with little success. The hope of redress for Qatar and for FIFA now lay in the hands of the audience. A 30-second TV spot was developed in partnership with Amnesty and its creative agency, Bonjour, inviting people to sign the petition to force Qatar and FIFA to redress the human rights abuses suffered by migrant workers in the host country.

The goal was twofold: for RMB to demonstrate that the TV advertising medium is an excellent tool for driving social action, and for RMB's client, Amnesty International, to generate the maximum number of signatures possible, given that the spot was broadcast just before the second half of Belgium’s first match.

Using archive footage of football fans, players and public figures reacting to conceded goals, unfair referee decisions or painful injuries, the spot aimed to highlight the injustice and cruelty of the context of this particular World Cup. It raised awareness of human rights violations and invited the public to take action by signing the petition. The sales house, for the first time, used its own TV commercial breaks for an awareness-raising message, in partnership with a grassroots organisation, to legitimise its approach to the games. They were also able to measure the impact of the spot on the number of petition signatures, with 6000 signatures following the spot’s broadcast.

The Super Ballekes is the Belgian equivalent of the Super Bowl ad break. On 23rd November at 8:00pm, RTBF broadcast the first Red Devils game in Qatar between Belgium and Canada. At half time, RMB offers an ad break committed to creativity and brand-new spots – 3 mins of Oscar-winning advertising where anything goes and creativity reigns, gluing viewers to their seats. It is in this break that RMB chose to broadcast the Amnesty spot to give it maximum impact and to legitimise the presence of other advertisers in this space. The project demonstrated that TV advertising has the power to drive action and fundamentally change consumer behaviour or awareness around an important social issue. F.L.A.S.H. (Feel Like A Super Hero), RMB's creative unit, developed the concept of the Super Ballekes half-time ad break and participated in the development of the Amnesty spot within this screen.

Campaign results

6000 people signed the petition following the broadcast of the spot, which included a QR code that redirected viewers to the petition. This was the first time Amnesty had carried out such a campaign was very happy with the impact. The QR code proved to be a useful tool in generating engagement with viewers, extending the interaction with the viewer beyond the ad alone. The Super Ballekes ad break was watched by 1,130,600 French-speaking viewers, aged 4 years and over. This corresponds to more than a quarter of the population of southern Belgium (rating = 26%). The Amnesty case demonstrates the potential advertising has in contributing to a more ethical society. RMB are committed to build on the success of this campaign by continuing in this direction in the future.

Campaign video