GOAL: Defenders Of Wildlife, a Washington D.C. advocacy group, wanted to stop an upcoming Discovery Channel "wildlife" program hosted by Sarah Palin, known for her aerial hunting of wolves and promotion of Alaskan oil interests.
STRATEGY: Instead of targeting the concerned public (which had proved slow and ineffective), we redirected the focus to the Discovery Channel's management, sponsors and shareholders who believed that Sarah Palin would raise their ratings—and profits. We planned a media “blitz”, concentrating on the train station and surrounding bus shelters that served the Discovery Channel's headquarters for one week during its Annual Shareholder’s Meeting. The posters adopted a corporate tone and logic that made it impossible for Discovery Channel's management to dismiss DOW as a bunch of tree-huggers that didn't understand business. It undermined their justification that hiring Sarah Palin was a business-based decision, turned off potential sponsors and created a negative buzz among the overwhelming numbers of pro-environment employees who passed the posters on their way to work.
RESULT: Our campaign transformed a “coup” for Discovery’s management into an embarrassing, expensive fiasco. Sponsors withdrew, Sarah Palin's Alaska was immediately cancelled, with little likelihood of similar shows being proposed in the future. Excellent!
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