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The People's Seat | #TakeYourSeat

“The world's people have taken part in building this address. Answering polls, sending video messages and voicing their opinions. I am only here to present the voice of the people.”  

Ambassador of The People’s Seat; Sir David Attenborough.

Studio takes a look back at Whalar's involvement in Grey London and The UN’s campaign, The People's Seat. The campaign aimed to generate a conversation and tackle climate change at the highest level in the two weeks leading up to and at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Katowice, Poland.

The following wrap video was produced by Whalar's @emilyfredasharp. For a deep dive into the story behind the campaign, continue scrolling for the full article below.

Whalar has always aligned itself with purposeful marketing, but this campaign served as a crucial moment to use our platform to elevate a conversation to key decision makers. Through collaborating with Grey London and the UN, we stimulated a global dialogue and affected international politics by championing the true democratic power of social influence.

This campaign articulated, within a period of great uncertainty, social media’s ability to bring nations together and alter the very fabric of political decision making in a time of environmental urgency.

With Sir David Attenborough as the international focal point, the environmental icon provided the bridge between digital and traditional influence. He sparked the campaign with his invitation to give all people and nations the opportunity to have their voices heard at the highest level. Within the #TakeYourSeat initiative, alongside a launch video shared across the UN and UNFCCC’s socials, getting involved in the campaign was accessible to anyone with an internet connection across the globe. Anybody could join the campaign via their Instagram stories.

For this, Grey London and The UN required influencers to send authentic invites in order to reach an untapped following outside established political audiences. We contributed to a social strategy that could unlock multiple communities across various cultures and demographics. This is where influencer marketing is critical to initiating a campaign of speed and intensity, and at scale.

Through Whalar, we connected 60 influencers via our platform to plant the digital seed.

Instagram Stories was the natural choice for this campaign for many reasons. There has been a greater shift to ephemeral content, and users tend to be far more likely to share content that is unpolished and spontaneous. Stories are growing 15x faster than the Instagram feed and the feature pulls in over 400 million daily users - meaning Stories would be the ideal destination to drive user traffic within a limited timeframe.

Moving forward, we distributed templates with three open questions on Instagram to collect quantitative and qualitative data and video testimonials for the speech.

The speech was crafted around the results, data and responses collected. All data, video footage and comments were compiled into a two-minute film that was presented during the UN speech. For the first time ever, UGC was utilised in a speech to the UN - made possible via the framework of an influencer marketing campaign.

Through our network, we encouraged over 128,000 participants in online polls within the two weeks leading up to the UN’s Climate Change Conference. An understanding of core social influence and selecting creators with strong voices were fundamental in generating impact for the campaign.

With 17,000 independent authors across Twitter and Instagram, a state of urgency was called from global citizens across the digital communities. The demand for instant action on climate change began to cross-pollinate media and feed its way into mainstream outlets. The launch video alone, inviting users to participate, received over 9.3 million impressions on UNFCCC’s Facebook page in the first week.

Our work, combined with Grey London, The UN and their creative partners, reached over 1.3 billion people, including a social media reach of over 510,000. The hysteria around the campaign soon evolved, with 1,600 industry articles and found its way into over 500 pieces of broadcast news globally. Including China CCTV, the BBC, CNN, Sky News and Reuters. Further coverage was also given from climate change sceptics, Fox News. Alongside the media attention the campaign took home several awards, including a Gold Cannes Lions earlier this summer. And best of all, it contributed to agreeing on the rules to implement the Paris Agreement, which will come into force in 2020.

For us, this campaign demonstrated the true potential of influencer marketing within the wider media space. The gatekeepers of mainstream media have always held heavy influence over political decision making; we view the democratic nature of influencer marketing and its sharable content is an antidote to this imbalance of power.

We are proud to be involved in a campaign that has helped empower an initiative that everyone at Whalar cares about deeply. Influencer marketing gives people a chance to publish their creativity to the world, and it offers similar, if not greater,  infrastructure for digital activism.

Alongside Grey London and The UN, we were able to use our model to make a difference and give a voice to the wider community.

For any more information on the campaign, please don’t hesitate to contact us at studio@whalar.com.