A major proportion of the world’s garden dormouse population lives in Germany. Accordingly, the “National Strategy on Biological Diversity” (BMU) has stated that our country bears a key responsibility for preserving this species. Yet even in Germany, drastic declines in the population have been reported. Our social media video series aims to raise awareness of the issue with an emotionally appealing approach.
We adapted the style of “Aktenzeichen XY… ungelöst”, a TV series covering unsolved crime cases, and rolled out a missing person case. This enabled us to communicate the dramatic extent of the threat and convey the knowledge factually. This motivated the community to become actively involved in the search by emphasising the participatory aspect. The episode clips create drama, menace and tension. They take the audience on a search for clues, which approaches solving the case through clues, initial evidence, sound recordings, suspects and possible “crime scenes”.
The series came to an end with a semi-open ending with the invitation to submit further clues. The story required a well-timed interaction with a landing page that provided the individual episodes along with additional information. All of the co-detectives were able to quickly register their sightings via a special reporting centre. The project website www.gartenschläfer.de provides more background information on the case.
There had been over 2,000 reports or sightings only two days after the first SOKO episode aired. The public demonstrated an enormous willingness to participate in the search for clues via social media (Instagram and Facebook). The video series has gone on to be viewed, “liked” and shared thousands of times on social media. This was a major success for the garden dormouse, BUND e.V. and the participants in the environmental project and also for us.