BOGOTÁ, Colombia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Lowe and Partners’ Colombian agency, Lowe SSP3, has announced the follow up campaign to the phenomenally successful ‘Operation Christmas’ and ‘Rivers of Light’ campaigns, which won a Cannes Titanium Lion, an IPA Effectiveness Grand Prix and the only D&AD Black Pencil awarded in 2012. ‘Operation Bethlehem’ continues this body of work that is designed to encourage the demobilization of the FARC Guerrilla army, central to Colombia’s long running civil conflict of some 60+ years.
Carefully targeted demobilization messages in the Christmas period have proven successful in past campaigns and this year’s ‘Operation Bethlehem’ campaign is all the more poignant as Colombia is currently in peace talks in Cuba.
Using military intelligence reports, Lowe SSP3 found that the guerrilla command posts had been repositioned throughout different areas of Colombia, in an attempt to prevent desertion.
Operation Bethlehem’s key objective is to give the FARC guerrillas a guiding light that leads their way to freedom and to their families at Christmas.
The team travelled with army and navy protection, to key towns located close to FARC camps.
In a campaign that uses TV, Billboards and light, the agency, led by Lowe and Partners Chief Creative Officer, Jose Miguel Sokoloff, placed powerful beacon lights in key town plazas. They are currently illuminating the sky every night, giving the demobilizing guerrillas a direction to go to when they escape from their camps at night.
To ensure the FARC members are aware of the shafts of light, the agency incorporated the following activity into the mix.
Over 10,000 LED lights were dropped by the Army on foot and from helicopters, along key Guerrillas routes in the jungle, designed to guide the guerrillas during their escapes at night.
The agency created glow in the dark stickers, which the army laid out, on foot, on trees along strategic pathways. Working in conjunction with Military Intelligence, Lowe SSP3 identified pathways where vehicles carrying supplies for the guerrilla pass and attached the glow in the dark stickers to them.
Taking into consideration that the rivers are the jungle’s highways, they also installed glow in the dark billboards carrying the following message: “Guerrilla, Follow the Light”
Military intelligence also showed that during Christmas period, some guerrillas communicate with their families. That’s why we produced radio broadcasts inviting the families to tell their guerrilla relatives to demobilize by following the lights in Christmas time.
The call to action/end line for the campaign is:
“Guerrilla, this Christmas follow the light, it will guide you to find your family and freedom. Demobilize. At Christmas everything is possible”.
About the FARC
Colombia has lived under the shadow of war for over 60 years. Its adversary is the largest and oldest insurgent group in the Americas: the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, also known as the FARC. With an estimated 8,000 current members, FARC’s stated goal is to overthrow the current democratic government of Colombia. As such it is considered a terrorist group by the Colombian government, the United States Department of State and the European Union. From 1999 to 2008 the FARC was estimated to control between 30 and 40% of the territory in Colombia. It primarily funds itself through ransom kidnappings, extortion and taxation of the illegal drug trade. It has been estimated that FARC supplies more than 50% of the world's cocaine. Colombia’s guerrilla war has caused more than 40,000 deaths since 1990, most of them civilians. On average the FARC commit a terrorist act once every 3 days and as a result of FARC activity, Colombia now has more landmines than any other country in the world, maiming on average three Colombians each day.