NATO goes viral

Just a few days before the summit celebrating 60 years of existence, NATO has launched an online campaign, with the goal of raising the awareness of young people regarding its activities. The campaign consists of three short movies, exploring the contrast violence and danger vs. peace and security. The movies, made by PR company Scholz & Friends, the same one that designed the EP campaign, do not provide explicit information about NATO, being aimed towards capturing young people’s attention and making them interested in what NATO is doing.

While the idea to address the young generation through online media is good (and fashionable), one cannot help wondering whether the campaign, on which NATO spent around 500 000 €, would have the expected effect. How often will we see these videos on Facebook walls or on Twitter? (let alone the fact that there is no easy embed function…) And, even more important, will they spark a debate among young people?





  1. War goes viral – the NATO virus. It already made Strasbourg, Kel and Baden-Baden-Baden ill by organising its 60 years celebration there this weekend…

  2. I never realised how cute and friendly a military alliance NATO is…

    Why, this has changed my whole perception of them.

  3. RT @kosmopolit: RT @Anda19: NATO goes viral:

  4. A questionable approach to #publicdiplomacy: “NATO goes viral:” (via @Anda19)

  5. Totally reminds me of 1984. War is peace. You need our bombs for your freedom.

    It won’t go viral on facebook because war and military alliances are not perceived as “cool”. You can sell the army with slick commercials, but the concept of military intervention is much more difficult to sell, especially after Irak or Afganistan. Which is good news btw, and why this whole EEC/EC/EU business started in the first place.

    • I am not sure if NATO wants to be perceived as a “cool” military alliance but it definitely tries to reach its target audiences with scenes and locations they can identify with. In this way, NATO is not only be seen as an inviolable institution that fights for peace and stability somewhere abroad but as a “partner” or “friend” that is at your side in case of war or conflicts.

      Maybe the three spots of the online campaign get a different fedback in the United States, but as a German student I could imagine that Europeans will not like the spots.
      To make that clear, I like how the spots are made although the style of each spot is very aggressive and plays with a strong confrontation of anxiety and joy. The message is “We want you to live in peace and security and we will fight for that all over the world“ which definitely needs a strong concept to be transferred to the public. In this way, it is not the design that holds me back from sending the videos to my friends or post them on my Facebook profile.
      It is the topic “war” itself that scares me and that I, based on German history, try to avoid. I cannot connect it with something good, but only with death and destruction.

      In this way, I am wondering if the three spots get the same feedback in all 26 NATO-member countries and how intense the cultural background of each country impacts the perception of the ads. That would be an interesting point for more research.

  6. It’s difficult to find really good specialists in institutional communication. It really is. And it’s also very difficult to measure the impact of communication campaigns. My gut feeling would be that the campaign misses the whole point of NATO and of the war setting it’s generally working in… the communication channel is important (and in this case it might not have been the most appropriate), but respecting the essential attributes of the brand is crucial. However, it’s difficult to measure impact, as I already said.

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