By Amy Houston, Senior Reporter

January 10, 2024 | 4 min read

This campaign was awarded the coveted Grand Prix at The Drum Awards for Marketing APAC 2023, as well as winning in the Creative, PR and Social Purpose categories.

Tuvalu, a low-lying Pacific nation, faces the imminent threat of submergence due to global sea level rise. With time running out, Tuvalu and its agency The Monkeys had to find a solution to preserve its culture, history and sovereignty.

The Brief

Tuvalu’s minister for justice, communication and foreign affairs, Simon Kofe, unveiled a radical plan at Cop27: Tuvalu was to become the world’s first ’Digital Nation’.

The Idea

To safeguard the island nation’s identity and rights, the idea was to recreate Tuvalu in the metaverse, preserving its heritage and government services even after the physical land disappears. The ’Digital Nation’ project aimed to redefine statehood under international law, fighting for Tuvalu’s sovereignty and global recognition. By leveraging media engagement and a powerful Cop27 announcement, the campaign provoked urgent conversations on climate action and mitigation.

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The Results

With no media budget, the project achieved remarkable reach and impact. The launch reached 2.1 billion people and received coverage in 173 major global publications, including The New York Times and The Guardian. The news was trending on TikTok and Twitter, while the campaign website attracted global traffic from 160 countries.

As a result, a historic loss and damage fund for nations such as Tuvalu was established at Cop27. Furthermore, nine nations agreed to officially recognize Tuvalu’s digital statehood, ensuring protection for the island’s maritime boundaries, international voting rights and its place on the world stage. The project became a catalyst for global action, highlighting the urgent need for climate change mitigation.

This campaign won at The Drum Awards for Marketing APAC 2023. Find out more about The Drum’s Global Awards program or head to our case studies hub to read more award-winning stories.

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