#HasshatHausverbot ("Hate is banned") – RTLZWEI and vonHerzen show haters the red card with cross-media campaign

by Eyes & Ears of Europe

Hate is becoming more and more prevalent on the net. In addition to hate speech, insulting and defamatory posts and comments, social media users are also being insulted in their private messages. RTLZWEI takes a clear stand and includes not only faces of the channel but also their employees in the awareness-raising and educational campaign by the vonHerzen agency.

In the safety of anonymity, which is also intensified by fake profiles, haters feel strong on the net. Far too often, insulting posts and comments go unanswered or are even shared. Yet, attacks on the net can affect anyone and lead to considerable psychological injuries. In the #HasshatHausverbot campaign by RTLZWEI and the Munich agency vonHerzen, more than 40 prominent actors and presenters stand up against hate. 

From idea to realisation – vonHerzen and RTLZWEI worked hand in hand

The aim of the campaign is to clearly communicate the channel's stance, as well as to clarify the legal consequences of hate comments. "In the creative process, we naturally thought in 'all directions'. From the more positively connoted 'Make Love Not Hate' to the direct 'Hate is banned'," reveals Verena Hemberger, Creative Lead vonHerzen. "The decision for the final claim came from the station's general goal to clearly position itself against hate. After brainstorming, the idea of the bouncer was born for us, with the extension that everyone takes on the part of the bouncer: Staff, station faces and, through social media filters, the community as well."

The creative team of the vonHerzen agency has worked on the idea and realisation of the campaign in a cross-company project group since January. Under the leadership of Ellen Schwarz (RTLZWEI), the team developed in close cooperation – and digital creative meetings, chats and team boards. Ellen Schwarz, Head of Web & Social Media RTLZWEI: "Hate has many faces and must always be considered in the respective context. It is often difficult to recognise whether it is actually a criminally relevant statement. With our claim 'Hate is banned, we emphasise the complexity of the topic and call on everyone to take a stand as well."

Against hate – On all platforms

"In order to reach as many people as possible, all channels are used," reports Hemberger. "On air, this means trailers, teasers, advertising bumpers and a programme awareness trailer. In addition, a print ad and online advertising media were created as well as a dedicated landing page, interviews with station faces, live events and lots of posts." Numerous celebrities also have their say on air, on social media and in image spots and announcements. They include Cathy Hummels, Jana Ina Zarrella, Daniela Katzenberger and Lucas Cordalis, Milka Loff Fernandes, Hans Sarpei, the Geiss family, the team from "GRIP - das Motormagazin", the "RTLZWEI News" presenters Stephanie Brungs and Christoph Hoffmann as well as numerous actors from RTLZWEI formats. In special on-air spots, RTLZWEI employees also make clear statements and talk about their own real experiences with hate posts, giving a glimpse into their emotional world. Editorially, the topic is integrated into the storylines of RTLZWEI formats such as "Krass Schule", "Köln 50667", "Berlin - Tag & Nacht" and "Hartz und herzlich".

Carlos Zamorano, Head of Marketing & Communications at RTLZWEI: "The topic is highly relevant, red-hot and affects us all. We want to address as many people as possible with a holistic campaign and approach. As a media company, we reach a lot of people every day through numerous channels and platforms. We want to use this large reach: We say no to digital violence, we call for action and give victims the opportunity to find out about ways to get help."

More than just pointing fingers

"With the campaign, we are sharpening the profile of the channel and supporting its fundamental stance," Verena Hemberger sums up. This attitude is boldly reflected in the logo itself by the typography - Helvetica Neue LT Std Black Condensed - and the red line above the word "hate". Both the message and the campaign itself seem to have hit a nerve: In addition to a broad media echo ranging from trade press to boulevard, there has also been consistently positive feedback. Both the station faces and the community have accepted #HasshatHausverbot very well.

For more information on the campaign (in German) and what you can do about hate on the net, see https://www.rtl2.de/uebersicht/hass-hat-hausverbot-2