How a Giant Changed Tourism with the Palau Pledge

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The few giant characters we encounter in the advertising space have always proven to be great helpers. When we first meet the giant featured in the “Palau Pledge” campaign, however, he seems more like foe than friend to the country’s citizens.

The unnamed, lavender colored giant arrives out of nowhere one day. He stomps on the island’s reefs and gobbles up its delicacies. He’s also completely unaware of his destructive behavior. This character doesn’t see the errors of his actions because he is only passing through and wants to have fun. It’s the children of Palau who realize that a giant is destroying their home. The children warn him that everything they love about Palau will be gone if the giant continues to snatch and take everything for his own.

The giant takes their words to heart. After taking some time alone, and quietly observing an ever-growing amount of plastic and trash in the water, he asks how he can help. The kids befriend the giant and teach him how to take care of Palau. They advise him to let wild animals remain in their natural habitats and how to keep from stepping on the fragile coral. Before long, the giant and children are coexisting in harmony together with the promise to look after and care for the island and its residents.

By now, you’ve probably put together the metaphor that the giant represents tourists visiting Palau, the 13th smallest nation in the world. The more tourists visit and treat their surroundings as a personal playground, the harder it becomes to protect the country’s environment. In a campaign initiative created by Host/Havas Australia for The Palau Legacy Project, all visitors entering Palau must sign an eco-pledge stamped in their passport. The “Palau Pledge” is a personal promise from tourists that they will preserve Palau for the children of Palau, now and forever.

The campaign has already proven to be revolutionary. Palau is now the first nation on earth to change its immigration laws for the sake of environmental protection. The full campaign spot is also required inflight viewing for inbound visitors to Palau. It also stormed Cannes Lions 2018 last week, winning three Grand Prix awards.

You can watch the entire inflight short film here.

Heather Taylor

Icon Researcher & Blogger at Advertising Week
Heather Taylor

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