Člověk v tísni introduces Red Earphone, another project of help for those struggling with debt. The organization aims to motivate people struggling with debt to overcome their fear and reach out. The idea was to create a campaign that intends to spread awareness about the debt helpline formed in VMLY&R as a part of A Day For a Good Cause. This campaign's key element is the Cervenesluchatko.cz website with a simple form where all one has to do is fill in their phone number. The debt advisors will then be able to call back. The campaign took off in April predominantly in print and on billboards, accompanied by online communication. In May the campaign was followed by a collaboration with influencers. The last phase, 3D installations in selected Czech towns, will take place during June.
At the moment, over 700 thousand people in the Czech Republic face over 4 million distraints. These numbers, however, do not include the consequences of the pandemic crisis. We can therefore expect the number of people in the debt trap to rise in the upcoming months. "Our helpline became an effective tool to help those in debt. The helpline received calls from over 3800 people during the last year, which is a 100% increase compared to 2019. Increased demand for this type of help continues this year as well, we have received calls from over 1500 people since the beginning of this year." describes Daniel Hůle from Člověk v tísni.
The idea for an awareness campaign, informing those in financial need about help and possible solutions, originated in VMLY&R. The agency has already collaborated with Člověk v tísni before on a successful campaign Children in debt. "Every year, as a part of a Day For a Good Cause, we pick one project and build a communication brief for the whole agency. We are glad to be able to follow up on a successful collaboration with Člověk v Tísni and help raise awareness about the debt helpline. And because we are on the same boat with this client, we have yet again decided to provide our work pro bono" describes Martina Skřiváňová, Senior Account Manager at VLMY&R.
Red Earphone is the first helpline that calls you
The creative idea is based on an insight indicating that someone might feel embarrassed to call other people. This is especially true when someone needs to talk about their debt. "We are well aware that majority of us do not enjoy picking up a phone and making a phone call to a stranger. Especially when we need to ask for help. We have decided to tackle this obstacle. That's why this is the first helpline that will call you. All you need to do is leave your contact details" says Tomáš Novotný, VMLY&R Executive Creative Director. He adds "Red earphones became the campaign's significant visual symbol. The earphone will appear not only in traditional communication channels but also physically in public spaces and during interaction with influencers".
The whole campaign leads to the website CerveneSluchatko.cz. This site consists of a simple form where all one must do is fill in their phone number and debt advisors will call back as soon as possible. Video call has been introduced as a new feature on the website. These two ways of contact complement the current free helpline 770 600 800 and e-mail [email protected]. The website also features authentic audio footage with real stories of people who managed to get back up from the bottom of a debt trap. The voiceover was covered by famous actors Miroslav Hanuš and Sabina Remundová. Background music was composed by Matěj Kroupa.
Key visuals with the red earphone, based on VMLY&R's design, was created by 3D artist, illustrator, and painter Jirka Křivánek. It will appear in many types of commercials including OOH. "Just like in the Children in debt campaign, we were ready to help with gaining appropriate media space. Thanks to our team and partners, we managed to seize online and offline media space worth over 5 million CZK", says Karel Brabec, Account Director from Wavemaker Czech. OOH takes 60 and prints around 40 percent of the whole media value. Online is represented by around 10%.
Influencers joined the race and passed the earphone over to each other
As a part of the campaign, VMLY&R has also prepared a creative concept for an influencer campaign. Starting Monday, May 3rd until Wednesday, May 12th, the Instagram education relay race was on. The race was supported free of charge by public figures such as Ladislav Zibura, Martha Issová, Jana Plodková, Iva Pazderková, Tereza Kadeřábková and influencers Pedro, Not So Funny Any or Bé Hà (Style With Me). The idea was simple – the first influencer started a chain of Instagram story videos where the red earphone was passed to other contributors and the audience was informed about the campaign. Every day the handset was ‘lifted’ by different influencers who followed up with their videos.
"As an influencer, I like to support a good cause. Czech debt statistics shocked me, and it is absolutely crucial to talk about it out loud and not close our eyes to the issue. Even if this campaign should only help one of my followers, I consider it a success. I'm honored to be part of this" says Pedro, an influencer.
The campaign will culminate in June with 3D installations in the streets
In the final phase of the campaign, there will be a physical audio installation with the model of a symbolic red earphone in selected Czech cities. The real stories of people will attract the attention of passers-by – they should serve not only as a warning, but above all as a hope that problems linked to debt have a solution.
The first installation will appear for one day at Anděl in Prague on June 2. This will be followed by selected cities in Central Bohemia, the Ústí nad Labem Region and in Eastern Bohemia everywhere where Člověk v tísni mobile debt counseling centers operate. The entire production of the campaign, including the preparation of installations, is supervised by VMLY&R’s Production Manager, Tomáš Tomášek.
– Creative concept & influencer collabs: VMLY&R
– PR, media relations and influencer collab execution: Člověk v tísni
– Media: Wavemaker Czech and partners (BigMedia and MetroZoom with the support of the BigBoard foundation, Railreklam, CLV ČR, Mobilboard, Dynamix Media, Reklamní studio G, Burda International, Vltava Labe Media, Czech News Center and RF Hobby)
– Production: VMLY&R in collaboration with GPS Production
– Sound studio: Soundsquare
– Web: Pixman