Flash Drives for Freedom
Description

A campaign to smuggle the outside world into North Korea. Kim Jong-un's propaganda machine brainwashes his citizens into believing North Korea is utopia, despite the majority living in abject poverty and hundreds of thousands suffering in torture prisons. Outside info is the only way to free their minds and has already inspired hundreds of thousands to defect.

Buena joined with the Human Rights Foundation and USB Memory Direct to create a campaign to inspire people all over the world to donate their unused drives. The campaign is currently on a world tour, including Oslo, Seoul, London, Las Vegas, Guatemala City, Chicago, Brussels, Copenhagen, New York, and San Francisco. We have collected more than 130,000 drives thus far.

Awards
2018 One Show, Silver, PR
2017 D&AD, Bronze, Impact
Campaign Impact

114x

Return on investment

125k

Drives donated

$6.5M

Earned media value

610M

Free media impressions

$0

Spent on media

18k

Articles written

1.3M

Estimated North Koreans viewing drive content

2M

Hours of footage smuggled

48M

Hours of reading material smuggled

OUT OF HOME

We created an installation that was itself a donation mechanism. Real propaganda from Kim Jong-un emits from each mouth. When you insert a USB drive, it literally silences him. It is currently traveling throughout the world, gathering drives and raising awareness.

 

POSTER / PRINT

We created posters in the constructivist, propaganda style as a call to action to donate. We sold them at trade shows and online. Each poster purchase donated 15 drives.

STICKER

Any USB port could become a tiny billboard for the campaign.

NEWS SEGMENT ON MSNBC

The story was covered on many major news outlets. MSNBC covered it best.
Here is the full segment.

THE INSTALLATION WAS STOLEN

While the installation was temporarily stored in Los Angeles, on Oct 5, 2016, someone broke into the storage unit. There was an expensive TV in the unit as well, but he left it completely untouched. The man seemed to know what he was doing as he actually opened the cases and removed the heavy iron bases from them (which were used to hold the installation standing up), taking with him only the artwork, which had virtually no resale value. We never saw a trace of the installation again. The police were never able to identify the man. But we rebuilt the installation and it continues touring the world.

GRASSROOTS DRIVES

Of their own accord, people began collecting drives in their communities and mailed them to us. Bars exchanged drinks for drives. Kids canvased their neighboorhood. Preachers pounded the pulpit. At SXSW, anyone could get free tickets to events. All in exchange for drives.

 

3RD MOST LOVED BRAND AT SXSW

If people didn’t have a drive, they could Tweet #FlashDrivesForFreedom and USB Memory Direct would donate one for them. We got so many positive Tweets, we ended up being the 3rd most loved brand at SXSW in 2017.