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What were the objectives for the creative work?

Our objective was to raise awareness of the oppression of the Russian LGBTQ community: a subject completely ignored by domestic and international press.

In 2012, Russia passed an anti-gay propaganda law banning Pride parades for 100 years. Subsequently, Russia saw a surge of hate crimes motivated by homophobia.

No one acknowledged this, offered support or reported the story either in or outside of Russia. With media under strict control new ways of reaching out and raising awareness were needed.

What was the strategy behind the creative work?
We got GOWEST, an initiative supporting the Russian LGBTQ community, trending on Twitter within Russia. And, in doing so, forced Russian and international press to pay attention.

What was the creative work?
The campaign began with a single tweet. It urged people to visit and compose their own tweets inviting Russians westward to Stockholm Pride. Importantly, the tweets were automatically translated into Russian. The geotag was changed to Russian cities which enabled the topic to start trending on Twitter within Russia.

What effect did it have in the market?
From a single tweet on 14th May 2013 all this happened:

In just three days, GOWEST was trending on Twitter in Russia. An incredible wave of tweet-invitations were sent from, reaching over 3.7 million Russian Twitter accounts. *source:

The cause was picked up and retweeted by influential celebrities. This not only helped GOWEST trend in Russia, but these endorsements sparked the attention of the international press, helping GOWEST explode with worldwide coverage. Even Russian mainstream media featured the initiative. Stockholm Pride estimates the PR coverage generated was 10x higher than previous years.

Social response
GOWEST started with a single tweet and resulted in direct response of 110,000 interactions (likes and follows) in the first week alone. Earned media for the campaign period is estimated at 680,000,000 (impressions) worldwide. *source:

The secondary objective of GOWEST was to raise attendance at Stockholm Pride by 8%. The activity drove a 33% rise, smashing the objective by 300% and a year-on-year increase of 800%.

GOWEST was the first and only campaign to focus on the oppression of Russian LGBTQ community, precisely when the cause was being ignored by domestic and international media. It has since inspired other local and global initiatives in support of the same cause.

More about GOWEST and the subsequent movement:

Fast Company I Huffington Post I LGBT Weekly I Wall Street Journal I Swedish Television I Aftonbladet I Yahoo I DN I RT I ESPN I QX I Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt I Swedish Radio I Gay Star News I I BuzzFeed I Huffington Post I I CBC I I Huffington Post I Pink News I The Local I Nyheter24 I


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