Gold Spike

Case Film

Presentation Image

Product / ServicePALAU PLEDGE
CategoryA07. Travel
Idea Creation HOST/HAVAS Sydney, AUSTRALIA

The Campaign

To promote personal responsibility and encourage sustainable actions, a bold, permanent new entry visa process was created. All arriving visitors MUST now sign a pledge, stamped in their passports, to be good environmental stewards. This mandatory agreement, dedicated to Palau’s children, needs to be signed before an officer. Visitors are required to read and sign the agreement in front of the officer to gain entry.

The Brief

Visitors receive the stamped pledge in their passports at Immigration (airports, seaports). They must sign the agreement before an officer to gain entry. Officers received training in the new process. Production details as follows. English, Japanese, Korean, Chinese (Simplified, Traditional) Arrival Stamps cost per unit: $72. Production run: 21 of each. Ink pads cost per unit: $11.50. Run of 126. Passport insert cost per unit: $0.07. Production run: 55,000 (multiple languages). Compulsory inflight film production: $231,700. Subtitled film currently playing on Air China, United Airlines flights into Palau. All costs, $AUD. Further details on request.

Creative Execution

The Palau Government passed a new law on December 6, 2017, directing immigration officials to use the Palau Pledge entry visa stamp. The agency worked with the client (the Palau Legacy Project, a sustainable tourism marketing body), the government, the tourism industry and citizens to implement the new policy. • Immigration law, customs processes were changed permanently • The Pledge was issued in English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean • Visitors required to watch an inflight film shown on all inbound flights • Business accreditation program created to empower tourism businesses/ residents • New curriculum for primary/ secondary school students and other training programs to help build eco-awareness and conscious business principles within the tourist sector • Locals/ tour operators encouraged to take Pledge • Multi-language passport brochure/ airport posters/ website/ signage around Palau/ social influencer activity

Describe the success of the promotion with both client and consumer including some quantifiable results

Launched at the UN, the Pledge garnered enormous coverage for Palau’s conservation efforts. Its social, cultural, political impact is local and global: • Over 2 million tourists will sign Pledge in first 10 years • In first weeks of launch, Pledge achieved 1.7 billion earned media impressions (for $0 spend) • Pledge endorsed by global organisations/ leaders in politics, conservation, and tourism, including UN, World Economic Forum, Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund, Conservation International, Leonardo DiCaprio, John Kerry (Former US Secretary of State) • The first country to incorporate environmental practices into its immigration laws While Palau is a small nation, its efforts to mitigate mass tourism’s effects can be seen on a global scale. Already nations including New Zealand have expressed interest in creating their own visitor Pledge. By taking steps to sustainably manage its tourist population, Palau hopes other countries will take action to protect their environment.

Explain why the method of promotion was most relevant to the product or service

The Palau Pledge is a 360-degree brand experience built around a central, pioneering activation: All international arrivals to Palau now have an environmental pledge stamped into their passports, which they MUST sign before an immigration officer at the airport to gain entry. The Palau Pledge is a permanent new entry visa process for Palau, combating the ecological damage caused by booming tourist numbers. The entire tourism experience was redesigned around the Pledge, with touch-points empowering and educating tourists and locals. Palau is the first country to incorporate an environmental commitment into its immigration laws.

The agency created the idea of the Palau Pledge in response to the client’s brief: to promote ecologically responsible behaviour amongst tourists and locals, ensuring enforcement and encouragement is seen to be everyone’s job. The Pledge is a commitment device rooted in behavioural economics. By making a person agree to a small, public request to sign the Pledge, it creates a strong internal desire to behave consistently. Palau can also take legal action against visitors who violate the strict environmental laws underpinning the Pledge – including fining offenders up to USD 1 million. The Palau Pledge unifies action to protect Palau’s environment. It shows tourists their role in protecting Palau. By modelling to visitors a responsible way to travel, locals are creating a better alternative where their natural/ cultural resources are respected.


Name Company Position
Seamus Higgins Host/Havas Executive Creative Director
Gustavo Vampre Host/Havas Creative Director
Paul Bootlis Host/Havas Creative Director
Stu Alexander Host/Havas Senior Art Director
Gustavo Vampre Host/Havas Senior Art Director
Paul Bootlis Host/Havas Senior Copywriter
Daniel Fryer Host/Havas Senior Copywriter
Darren Cole Host/Havas Head of Design
Nic Adamovich Host/Havas Senior Designer
Dylan Reid Host/Havas Digital Designer
Serlina Wong, Michael Macgregor Host/Havas Designer 
Pip Snelling Host/Havas Senior Finished Artist/Designer 
Alex Ball Host/Havas Client Business Director
Maggie de Goede Host/Havas Account Manager
Mark McKissock Host/Havas Social Director 
Shea Warnes Host/Havas Senior Digital Strategist 
Beau Simmons Host/Havas TV & Video Editor 
Ros Payne Host/Havas Senior Broadcast Producer 
Thea Clausen Host/Havas Senior Print Producer 
Andrew Sambell, Megan Evans Host/Havas Digital Producers
Adam Shutler, Rhys Hobbs Host/Havas UX
Peter Pippen Host/Havas Senior Strategic Planner
Adam Freedman Red Agency Head of Consumer
Katie Lettice, Jackie Holt, Andrea Philips, Caroline Jeffery, Madeline Mullins, Sarah Dillon Red Agency Account Executives
Jed Kurzel Independent Composer
Abigail Sie Song Zu Sound Designer
Alan Dickson Yukfoo Producer and Creative Director
Evan Viera, Tommy Wooh ROYGBIV Directors
Sean Izzard The Pool Collective Photographer
Enric Sala National Geographic Photographer
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