On September 21, 2014—with world leaders arriving in New York City for a landmark United Nations summit on climate change, people around the world took to the streets to demand action toward ending our environmental crisis. Organized by Avaaz and 350.org with 1574 participating organizations, the People’s Climate March was history’s largest-ever rally for climate change. Millions participated in 2646 public actions in places like New York, London, Rio, Berlin, Bogota, Paris, Delhi, Melbourne, and more than 160 other cities.
Avaaz called upon ART NOT WAR to create a multi-platform social media and advertising campaign to amplify this unprecedented global day of action. Our hashtag and cultural campaign header, #WorthSaving spread the word and catalyzed worldwide engagement.
As the first stage of our campaign, ART NOT WAR co-produced a design contest for a subway poster to promote the New York City march. The winning artwork was chosen by a panel of luminaries from the fields of design (Shepard Fairey, Barbara Kruger, Swoon), performing arts (Moby, DJ Spooky), advertising (Tor Myhren, Diego Machado, Carol Wells) and activism (Ricken Patel, the Yes Men). Two designs won and both were featured for a month in NYC’s subways, helping to lead more than 400,000 participants to a flagship march that covered 80 blocks of Manhattan.
In the weeks leading up to the day of action, ART NOT WAR created a viral video called #WorthSaving to coincide with the eponymous hashtag featured on social media and international event signage. Making use of original and crowd-sourced footage from AVAAZ members, the video depicts scenes of transcendence and beauty from a diverse cast of global citizens and features contributions from the artists such as Djimon Hounsou, Moby, Salman Rushdie, Shepard Fairey, Liliana Dominguez, Sylvia Earle, Jonathan Cramer, and Oday Rashid.
Our video and its meme, #WorthSaving, were translated into multiple languages and broadcast to hundreds of thousands of protesters during events in Melbourne, Australia, Bogota, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, where the hashtag was included in a radio ad by Brazilian music legend Caetano Veloso. When all was said and done, the #WorthSaving campaign helped the People’s Climate March earn more than 9,450,000 media impressions, 630,000 social media posts and 5,200 articles and TV segments in forums like the New York Times, the BBC, Time magazine, The Guardian, NBC, and more.