UN, Ogilvy firms pitch World Humanitarian Day to Millennials

The organization invited celebrities around the world to "donate" their social media accounts to the effort for a day.

Image via the World Humanitarian Day Facebook page
Image via the World Humanitarian Day Facebook page

NEW YORK: The United Nations and OgilvyOne have leveraged celebrity influencers and traditional media to boost engagement among Millennials for World Humanitarian Day, which is taking place on Wednesday.

"We wanted to give it time to reach critical mass," said Belinda Gurd, campaign manager for strategic communications at the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The organization invited celebrities who would resonate with Millennials around the world to "donate" their social media feeds to the #ShareHumanity effort with their hope that their followings would build buzz.

It also released a video promoting the hashtag and the WorldHumanitarianDay.org website.

The UN wanted to engage Millennial audiences because while they might not be as aware of what’s going on in the world as others, they "are a growing, connected audience," said Gurd, adding that young consumers also want to do something about the world’s problems.  

Ogilvy Public Relations and OgilvyOne Media also pitched in on the effort, which was spearheaded by Ogilvy One.

As Millennial celebrities such as musician Cody Simpson led the charge on building awareness, the UN and Ogilvy PR reached out to traditional media such as the Associated Press, which ran a rundown of the campaign last week that was picked up by sites including The Huffington Post. Websites such as Mashable, MTV News, Bleacher Report, and the Guardian covered the #ShareHumanitarian effort as well, Gurd added.

"Millennial outreach is 100% the top of what we’re trying to do with everything," said Seth Grugle, account director at Ogilvy PR. Gurd added that the UN works with its local offices around the world to engage local media and influencers.

By noon on Wedneday, more than 137,000 posts were used to tell "humanitarian stories," including those by a number of celebrities, according to WorldHumanitarianDay.org, which gives individuals the option to donate their own feeds.

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