European Parlement – #FreeRazan Photo Booth 2015

Razan Zaitouneh, Syrian lawyer, human rights defender and 2011 Sakharov Prize Laureate for Freedom of Thought, was kidnapped on 9 December 2013. She is still missing, believed to be alive, but her whereabouts are unknown. The European Parliament asked Ogilvy Brussels for an activity as part of World Press Freedom Day to show their support for human rights defenders such as Razan Zaitouneh and, more specifically, to launch an appeal for Razan’s freedom.

Together we decided that the best way to reach a big share of our target audience, European citizens of all ages, was to set up a social media campaign. In order encourage as many people as possible from different nations to join the Free Razan campaign, we placed a photo booth in the Parlamentarium, the visitors’ centre of the European Parliament in Brussels. People were asked to have their photo taken holding a board with the campaign hashtag “#FreeRazan” written on it. Thanks to our tailor-made photo programme in all official 24 EU-languages, every individual photo was straight away added to an overall campaign photo, showing every single part-taker as being part of a bigger group of supporters. Thanks to this technique, a sense of community and togetherness was created for the cause of showing support for Razan Zaitouneh. To further boost reach, visitors were able to share their picture immediately on Facebook and/or Twitter alongside an automatic message saying: “Become a human rights defender and join the call for the release of Razan Zaitouneh! #FreeRazan #Sakharov”.

In total, 682 photos were taken during the three-week campaign to raise awareness for the kidnapping of Razan Zaitouneh. As the campaign photos were shared on Facebook and Twitter through the participants’ personal accounts, the reach was successfully driven beyond the direct on-site participants.