This campaign was set up as an unusual PR stunt to raise more awareness for Sea-Watch e.V. and the ongoing refugee crisis. Based on the emotional stories of five refugees, the simulation in a swimming pool invited a group of 40 people, who represented German society in age, gender and profession, to an immersive experiment. Sitting in a narrow dinghy on high waves, the voluntary participants experienced for hours feelings of stress, panic and anxiety almost similar to those that people develop in a real fleeing over the Mediterranean Sea. All experiences during the simulation were captured in the short documentary “Lifeboat – The Experiment” as a highly vivid and immersive visualisation. Including off- and online media touchpoints as well as selected influencers who drove traffic to the campaign website, the experiment realises a change of perspective among viewers and immediately stimulates reflection.
Statement by the Jury
The campaign “Lifeboat – The Experiment” captivates with its novel approach of using personalised experiences to realise its aim of increasing awareness of the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean. Viewers are immediately immersed in and touched by the stories of both the refugees and the participants, as well as by the experiment itself, which comes across real and authentic, and correspondingly threatening.