SEESAC’s Holiday Social Media Campaign on Celebratory Shooting and Misuse of Pyrotechnics Reaches 1,9 Million Western Balkan Citizens

For a third time now, this holiday season, SEESAC launched a regional, social media campaign raising awareness of the public, throughout the Western Balkans, about the dangers of celebratory shooting and misuse of pyrotechnics.

Under the long-standing slogan “Celebrate with your Heart” the campaign revisited its anti-hero ‘Joe’ who, last year, engaged in an assortment of bad behavior around the holidays, causing physical harm to and inciting fear and disappointment among the people he loves. This holiday season, Joe decided to attract positive attention and #BeTheStarOfTheParty.  

We identified a subset of the public deemed most likely to engage in reckless behavior using SALW and targeted them specifically using available tools on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Google Ads. The campaign adds appeared over 23 million times on various platforms, reaching as many as 1,9 million of the targeted individuals. Among those who saw the campaign ads, over 30,000 clicked on them and were taken to the campaign page, offering information about concrete incidents when harm was done by misuse of SALW and pyrotechnics, as well as more general information about the subject of SALW misuse.  The campaign was conducted in Albanian, BCMS, North Macedonia and English.



Careless use of pyrotechnics and shooting into the air from a firearm are forms of celebration that persist to various degrees throughout the Western Balkans, and which are often enough the cause of death, injury, psychological trauma, property damage and arrests. To drive this point home, the campaign is deeply rooted in concrete data collected through SEESAC’s Armed Violence Monitoring Platform (AVMP) where daily information about various SALW-related incidents has been collected since 2014. While utilizing humor, the campaign leans on behavioral science ideas - calling on potential perpetrators to consider how their friends, neighbors and family feel about such behavior.

The campaign perfected methods used during last year’s campaign “Celebrate with your Heart - #DontBeLikeJoe”, resulting in ~40% increase in visibility. The first regional “Celebrate with Your Heart” campaign was launched in 2015 under the slogan Don’t Ruin the Party - #WhoKilledSanta.

The results of the advertised potion of the campaign alone include:

  • Total Impressions (for all channels): ~23.3 mil
  • Total Reach (for Facebook & Instagram): ~1.9 mil
  • Total Clicks (for all channels): ~30,000
  • Total Video Views (for YouTube ads): 334,030
  • Total Video Plays (for Facebook & Instagram): 5,215,150

Impressions - # of times an ad appeared
Reach - # of (unique) people who saw the ad 
Clicks - # of times your ad was clicked on
Video Views - # of times someone intentional played the video and watched at least 30sec of it 
Video Plays - # of times your video started playing 



The campaign was promoted internationally by the International Action Network of Small Arms (IANSA) as well as by UNDP Eurasia and a number of UNDP country offices in the region.

This year, the campaign is being implemented within the framework of the regional project Support for Enhancing the Fight Against the Illegal Possession, Misuse and Trafficking of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) in the Western Balkans funded by the European Union through the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA II).