The Webby for Good, produced in partnership with WP Engine, is a showcase of Webby-honored projects and campaigns that are promoting social good in the world.
Describe your project. What is it, what was the elevator pitch?
"We needed to raise money for the Syrian refugees. But Americans were focused on another disaster–the U.S. Presidential Election. So we used one disaster, to draw attention to the other. Using Google analytics, we noticed that Americans were causing a huge spike in the search term “Move to Canada”. So with Google Ad Words, we hijacked the moment they were searching and directed them to our site: ImMovingtoCanada.org There, we compared Americans fleeing due to the election, to the Syrian refugees who were fleeing for their lives."
What key challenges did you face with this project? And how did you overcome them?
"Difficult: Getting Americans to feel sympathy for the Syrian refugees. Extremely Difficult: Evoking sympathy at a time when it felt as if our own country was collapsing. Solve: Shine a mirror on Americans considering to flee the country because of an orange man in an ill-fitted suit. And then shine light on the plight of the Syrian refugees. You can't really compare the two."
What was the most rewarding aspect of working on your project?
2016 was a shit year. Like, really really shitty. But we managed to turn something negative (Trump’s hate) into something positive (aid for refugees).
Why this particular cause as the subject of your project/campaign?
"Doctors of the World was on the ground providing medical aid to Syrian refugees. The war was increasingly getting worse, with over half the country displaced and over 400,000 dead. The rest of the world had been watching the refugees die for seven years. It had been far too long. We wanted to raise awareness and donations."
When working on this project, what were some of the most important conversations you had with your team?
"“We have no money. What do we do?” “Get the analytics nerds in here”. Our campaign would live or die based on our social efforts. Luckily for us, the Election was creating tons of fodder for which to play with. So we met daily to create social content responding to debates and news stories.
What did you learn from working on this project that you didn't know going into it? Did anything come out of it that surprised you, or that you weren't expecting?
Other than Trump actually winning the election? HA! We’re still trying to wrap our heads around that one. But once that happened, we changed our website language from “I’m Moving to Canada”, to “I’m Moving to Mars”. Canada isn’t going to be far enough.
Best, most innovative and effective or creative use of data-driven digital media that serves users with a personalized experience. This includes such efforts as targeted marketing messages, remarketing, etc.