Government of Tuvalu

The First Digital Nation (case study)

Agencies: The Monkeys Accenture Song


Tuvalu, a low-lying Pacific nation, is facing an impossible challenge. At the current rate of global sea level rise, the entire country will be submerged by 2050. As the ocean closes in, Tuvalu must ask: what happens to a country without land? In addition to the displacement from loss of physical land, Tuvalu faces another threat: the loss of its rights as a nation. International law currently dictates that nations need a “defined physical territory” to exist, so Tuvalu risks becoming the first country to lose its sovereignty due to climate change.

Tuvalu’s maritime boundaries, international voting rights, and voice on the world stage are all at risk. Tuvaluan Minister Simon Kofe was scheduled to speak at COP27, the UN Climate Change Conference. Though it was expected to be a typical diplomatic address to assembled delegates and reporters, Minister Kofe used the moment to unveil a radical plan for survival.

Tuvalu will become the First Digital Nation, ensuring its sovereignty and ability to govern in the face of a worst-case scenario. During his address at COP27, Minister Kofe outlined the plan, which involves gradually migrating Tuvalu's government services, culture, and history to the cloud.

This digital transformation process will allow Tuvalu to remain a functioning country even after its physical land is no more. The first step in this process is the digitization of Tuvalu's land, which will serve as a crucial component in its legal fight for a revised definition of territorial sovereignty under international law. The Digital Nation is both a plan for survival, and a provocation designed to drive urgent conversation around climate action and climate mitigation.

Tuvalu needed to direct the attention of world leaders at COP27 to its immediate concerns: funding for loss and damages caused by climate change, fossil fuel reduction, and an agreement that Tuvalu’s sovereignty would be protected, even if its land disappears. But Tuvalu had been voicing these concerns for years, and nothing had been done. It was the inaction of those same world leaders that has forced Tuvalu to plan for a future without land. Therefore, Tuvalu’s message needed to resonate with the world beyond COP27 – drawing international attention to help pressure international action. With that in mind, Tuvalu’s announcement was designed for maximum emotional impact. This is the heart-breaking last resort of a nation that’s run out of time, and options.

The initiative was launched at COP27, with a recorded address from Tuvaluan Minister Simon Kofe. On the screen, Minister Kofe appeared to address the audience from Te Afualiku, Tuvalu’s smallest island, the first part of the country that will be taken by the sea. Halfway through the speech, the island around him began to freeze and stutter, and it was revealed to be the first part of Tuvalu to be recreated digitally.

With a $0 media budget, the project’s launch reached 2.1 billion people. It was covered by 359 global publications, including The New York Times and The Guardian, and trended on TikTok and Twitter. The website received global traffic from 160 countries, 118 in less than 48 hours. This reach turned to action when, days after the announcement, a historic Loss and Damage Fund for nations like Tuvalu was established at COP27. Most importantly, nine nations have agreed to officially recognise Tuvalu’s digital statehood – creating a pathway to sovereignty, that would secure Tuvalu’s maritime boundaries, international voting rights, and place on the world stage.

This professional campaign titled 'The First Digital Nation (case study)' was published in Tuvalu in June, 2023. It was created for the brand: Government of Tuvalu, by ad agencies: Accenture Song and The Monkeys. This Digital, Direct, and Integrated media campaign is related to the Hospitality, Tourism, Public Interest, and Public Utility industries and contains 1 media asset. It was submitted 12 months ago by LLLLITL.


Brand: The Government of Tuvalu.
Advertising Agency: The Monkeys (Accenture Song), Sydney (Australia).
Production Company: Collider.
PR and Communications: Thrive PR + Communications.

The Monkeys
Group CEO and Co-Founder: Mark Green.
Group Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder: Scott Nowell.
Chief Creative Officer: Tara Ford.
Executive Creative Director: Barbara Humphries.
Head of Innovation: Beth O'Brien.
Creative Director: Cameron Bell, Sam Dickson.
Senior Art Director: Alex Polglase.
Senior Copywriter: Jake Ausburn.
Head of Production: Penny Brown.
Digital Producer: Tamara Wohl.
Digital Design Lead: Eva Godeny.
Head of Planning: Hugh Munro.
General Manager: Kezia Quinn.
Tech Lead: Surya Winata.
React Developer: Jasmin The, Steve Deng.

Director: Glenn Stewart.
EP/Producer: Karen Bryson.
Managing Director: Rachael Ford-Davies.
3D Animation: Glenn Stewart.
Additional Vfx: JOSEPH HARPER.
Colourist: Matt Fezz.

Thrive PR + Communications
Chief Executive Officer: Leliani Abels.
Senior Account Director: Nathan McGregor.
Senior Account Manager: Tess McDonald, Anna Laskaris.
Senior Account Executive: Maddy Beck.
Account Coordinator: Sarah Nguyen, Sophie Thomason.

Audio Creative Director: Ryan Dickinson.
Composer: Haydn Walker.
Executive Producer: Kat Aquilla.
Sound Designer: Simon Kane.


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