The world’s first online drought. How online farmers helped real-life farmers.
Brief / Objective:
Bring awareness to UNESCO World Water Day 2013 and support FAO initiatives on a shoestring budget. Find a relevant and insightful way to get the attention and support of people living in regions where water is not a problem. How could we make lack of water their problem too and engage them to find out more and support?
Creative solution:
Farmageddon - The world’s first online drought. We created a partnership with online farming game Farmerama and modified their website for a day to surprise players with an unexpected online drought on their individual virtual farms. On 22nd of march 2013, World Water Day, players logging in to play Farmerama found their beloved farm completely dry, to their total shock. After the first shock the gamers got the redeeming news that the drought was actually a stunt from FAO and Ending Hunger to raise attention for the World Water Day 2013. 
Online farming games are taken quite seriously by the players. They require a lot of care and constant attention with many hours of “work”. People who had put so much effort and passion into virtual farming were likely to be really shocked when an unexpected sudden drought would hit their beloved farm. Although “only” digital, this drought made online farmers somehow understand what drought can mean for farmers in the real world.
With Farmageddon we could bring the World Water Day message directly to the desktops of millions of registered players worldwide, active in more than 20 languages and we could ask them directly for their support. Besides the online gamers a further target group was the general public which we reached with the strong PR generated by the unconventional idea of Farmageddon.
In one day only and with a zero budget, the campaign resulted in 20+ million media impressions and generated more than 700.000 Euro earned media.
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