Switzerland woke up after a big rumor two weeks ago. Star-comedian Viktor Giaccobo [Wikipedia] had been arrested for a joke about the Federal Council.
Not really of course. It was the the start of a viral campaign for Amnesty International Switzerland.
It started with the announcement in Giaccobo’s tv-show on Sunday that he was arrested. The news spread immediately on Twitter. The next morning it was big news on all major online media channels.
The real message was not about the Swiss comedian. The campaign was about Giaccobos professional colleague Zarganar [Wikipedia] from Birma. Zarganar is imprisoned for satirical comments about the regime since 2008.
Amnesty International Switzerland started a cross-media campaign for his release that caused an enormous response.
On monday Amnesty asked their 20.000 supporters to sign the petition online.
Daniel Graf, Media spokesman of Amnesty: “A broad base of email addresses is essential to achieve a viral effect. The personal contact by email is still the most important tool for a successful campaigning boost”.
The second phase was Facebook. Christoph Schott, working for the Creativ Agency Spinas Civil Voices: “Many people who had in the first phase signed the petition spread the word about the petition on facebook. The effect is truly measurable: About 50% of the traffic on the campaign website are from Facebook – an unbelievable social media success.”
The result was 50.000 pageviews in 5 days, 15.000 signatures in 3 days (now over 21.000). For a country like Switzerland this was an enormous success.
The fanbase on Facebook doubled to over 5.600, which is one of the peaks under Swiss NGOs. Only the WWF has 6600 fans continue to be ahead.