Bring David Hicks Home Campaign (2008 Article)

Integrating a multi-channel campaign

In 2007 I worked with a multi-discipline team, across multiple agencies to deliver a campaign for Amnesty International Australia. The campaign was for the “Bring David Hicks Home”. AIA campaigners had developed the idea and it was our job to support them in its execution. What was most interesting to me at the time was it was my first Social campaign that captured supporter sentiment in the replica Guantánamo Bay cell via a 60 second video message to the Prime Minister. Messages were uploaded to You Tube and then aggregated onto the campaign mini-site. For me it was also my first integrated campaign that crossed experience, digital, direct mail, Face-to-Face and telemarketing with a combined message and “call to action”. The installation travelled to the United States of America for Amnesty USA’s “Tear it Down” campaign, following Obama’s during the 2008 presidential election.

I’ve included the case study and video for your perusal.

Hicks onto Close Guantánamo…



David Hicks had spent 5 years without trial in Guantánamo Bay. Amnesty knew he would be tried by a Military Commission that violated international standards. Time was running out to help prevent Hicks being tried unfairly in a legal black hole. To motivate the public Hicks’ reputation of being “the worst of the worst” would need to be shaken.


Get 3,000 individuals to ask the Prime Minister to “bring David Hicks home”.

Ensure that the data captured was of sufficient quality to facilitate effective follow up communications such as campaign updates, and invitations to donate money.


Australians who believe in “a fair go” but don’t have a lot of spare time to protect that value. The strategy was to convey an experience… experience the injustice of life in Guantánamo Bay for yourself – step inside


The execution was to recreate a sensory deprivation experience. A full scale replica of Hicks’ detention cell was constructed and toured across Australia. Tablet PCs captured digital signatures, donations and data. This made responses quick and redefined the fundraising experience.

Amnesty volunteers asked people to digitally sign up to the campaign on a wireless PC tablet – the first ever use by a charity in Australia.

People could sign their name with a stylus. All captured signatures were presented on a scrolling plasma screen imbedded in the outside wall of the cell.

Video media including audio/visual & touch screen, cam recorded personal messages from the public. The messages were then published on YouTube and to a supporting campaign website. An outbound EDM keep Supporters up-to-date with the campaign.


Over 30 days of activity 4,000 individuals joined the campaign, this equates to 133 people a day.

In comparison a personal request from Bono during a U2 concert in Sydney to 70,000 people achieved just 3,000 names of individuals notably less engaged in the cause itself.

The rate of sign up from the cell campaign beat previous site records obtained using volunteers wielding clipboards by 44%.

Because of the quality of the data and depth of emotional involvement generated, a healthy 7% of those signed up through the cell have been converted into monthly supporters of AIA.

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