Describe your Webby-nominated project. What’s the elevator pitch?

To show what less diversity looks like, EDEKA opened a supermarket without foreign products.

Why this particular cause as the subject of your project/campaign? Was there a moment that inspired it?

In 2017 there was a YES to Brexit, Trump wanted to built a wall between the USA and Mexico, and the right wing party AfD had good chances to become part of the German parliament. It seems like even if it’s the diversity of different nations that shapes our world, people are more and more scared by that diversity. So in the election year 2017 German supermarket EDEKA decided to make a powerful statement pro diversity.

What concerns were there about pursuing this idea? How did you get past them?

The biggest issue was how to empty the supermarket shelves with only one day for preparation and how and where to store the banned products during the stunt without doing them any harm. In the end the team emptied the shelves within one day and stored the products in trucks at nearby parking areas, parking decks, and in EDEKA warehouses. Several refrigerated trucks ensured that frozen food was stored perfectly fine and everything could be put back onto the shelves after the stunt was finished without a single product going bad.

What was the most rewarding aspect of working on your project? What did you learn in the process that you didn't know/expect going into it?

More than 20,800 foreign products and products with ingredients from other countries were banned from the supermarket shelves. Even though the stunt was made to show customers in Germany and the rest of the world how many products from all over the world each of us consumes on a daily base, we were surprised ourselves by the amount of international products we consume, from chocolate to cheese. The most awarding aspect was the enormous response. From the majority of customers coming to the supermarket during the stunt, telling us how much they appreciate living in an open-minded and diverse country, to the worldwide discussion about diversity that the stunt became an important part of.

What real-world impact were you hoping to make with this project? Did the real-world impact meet your expectations?

We hoped that this idea just a week before the federal election in Germany—would make people think about the situation in Europe and open their eyes that diversity is important for every one of us. Instead we got an even better result: A worldwide discussion about diversity and xenophobia.

Credits

  • Executive Creative Director Jens Pfau Jung von Matt/NEXT ALSTER GmbH
  • Managing Director Peter Ströh Jung von Matt/AG
  • Creative Director Anna Lichnog Jung von Matt/NEXT ALSTER
  • Account Director Florian Laufenberg Jung von Matt/AG
  • Senior Project Manager Isabelle Mielke Jung von Matt/AG
  • Art Director Pia Mader Jung von Matt/AG
  • Senior Copywriter Heiner Twenhäfel Jung von Matt/AG
  • Junior Copywriter Dany Rothemund Jung von Matt/AG
  • Director Kai Sehr Markenfilm Crossing GmbH
  • Producer Marie Bohr Markenfilm Crossing GmbH
  • Creative Director Sebastian Schnell Jung von Matt/AG
  • Producer Moritz Sülz Jung von Matt/AG
  • Junior Art Director Franziska Krüger Jung von Matt/Spree GmbH
  • Junior Copy Writer Anne-Marie Brandner Jung von Matt/Spree GmbH
  • Christian Nord Nordmeister
  • Malte Hagemeister Nordmeister
  • Simon Heeger 2WEI Music
  • Christian Vorländer 2WEI Music

About the Best Viral PR Campaign category

Best, most innovative, effective digital campaign stunt that encourages and/or results in the rapid and widespread sharing of a marketing message.