Yearly attendance to the World Press Photo Exhibition had declined due to sombre content and the public's perception that they had ‘seen it all before’. The exhibition is a stock-take of humanity, they wanted people to feel obliged to see it. They figured that our world leaders needed to see the exhibition more than anyone. After all, their policies had directly influenced the exhibition's photo content: war, despair and political unrest. So they invited 74 of them. The campaign showed their attempts to get them to attend. Thirteen world leaders wrote back to decline and they displayed their letters in metrolites around the city. Beneath their letters was their campaign line: “See the exhibition they should be seeing”. The metrolites became an exhibition in themselves. What better way to promote an exhibition than with an exhibition. Inviting world leaders automatically made the exhibition more important: when none of them wanted to come, people wanted to know why. The promotion was reported on national television and in national press. The word of mouth aspect of the promotion is immeasurable but despite the worst winter in 30 years, attendance was 30% better than any other year - 21,479 visitors in total.
Agency: CLemenger BBDO Wellington, New Zealand.