• 12.8.09

    Joachim Ladefoged for Hopenhagen: Ogilvy's Global Campaign for the United Nations

    Representatives from the 192 countries that make up the United Nations are currently gathered in Copenhagen for the Climate Change Conference, also known as COP 15. Ten days of talks are scheduled until December 18th, aiming to establish official guidelines for reducing emissions from greenhouse gases.

    Last September, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon reached out to global advertising agencies for support. After three rounds of intense reviews by the International Advertising Association and the United Nations headquarters in New York, OgilvyEarth's compelling "Hopenhagen" campaign was chosen as the voice of the conference.

    Ogilvy invited several photographers to participate in the project, but there is one in particular that is catching the eye of people around the world. Joachim Ladefoged's photograph of two boys flexing their arms as Earth's bodyguards is displayed prominently on a billboard in the center of Copenhagen Square.

    Seen already in several news outlets such as BBC News, the image is being picked up by the media and distributed around the world. Ogilvy Creative Director Michael Paterson says, "We think it will become one of the iconic images of the conference."
    Why did you feel Joachim Ladefoged was right for this project?
    Ogilvy: Joachim is an amazing photojournalist; and the fact that he's Danish and the UN Climate change conference is taking place now in Copenhagen made him the perfect choice. He very kindly donated his time and energy to our Hopenhagen project. He became a true citizen of Hopenhagen and an enthusiastic partner for us at Ogilvy. Not only did Joachim shoot some great pictures for us, he even used his kids as models, and that great image of his 2 boys flexing their muscles as earth's bodyguard is dominating Copenhagen Square right now.

    Joachim, how do your kids feel about being models in the campaign?
    Joachim Ladefoged: They think it's pretty cool; they saw them selves on national TV today. There was a big opening concert with one of their favorite bands and half of the time their big billboard in Copenhagen Square was in the picture, for them that was exciting.

    What were you trying to convey with the campaign?
    O: Most climate change campaigns to date have focused on the negative. We wanted to do the opposite and focus on the positive. The aim was to make something populist, democratic and super simple that everybody can relate to. Hopenhagen is such a simple idea, and now that the conference is in full swing it makes total sense. Our intention all along was to make this the people's campaign. We have done a huge amount using video and social media, as well as engaging a series of great photographers like Joachim along the way.

    JL: The direction was to shoot very loose and guerilla style, nothing too pretty. More like a documentary or a journalistic approach - we wanted to capture what was real and in the moment.

    Where is the campaign being shown and what has been the reaction?
    O: The campaign is being shown worldwide including places like US, China, India and Brazil, which are high on the United Nations priority list. Of course it's huge in Copenhagen itself, where there is almost blanket coverage of the city with posters, video installations and events. The city of Copenhagen has enthusiastically embraced the campaign; they renamed the main city square "Hopenhagen Square." We really think people are ready for a positive message of hope about climate change. It's about people making a difference, and we think that resonates.

    Certainly. I hope people will feel empowered to make positive decisions for the present and future of the planet.

    JL: Let us seal the deal now, in my opinion we can not act fast enough.

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    Thank you to Greg Gerstner, Tom Godici, and Michael Paterson at Ogilvy NY.

    More of Joachim Ladefoged's work is available for view here.
    Post your message of hope at www.hopenhagen.org.

    -Helen Shih

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