david versus goliath

Rettet den Rursee e.V.

2012 - 2013
| strategy | consulting | concept | brand development | typography | graphics | web design | ui/ux | film | animation | 3d | programming | photography | print | text | campaign | pr | memetics | space | social media | #lionsshare

In 2012, the international energy company Trianel plans to build a pumped storage plant at Rursee. The € 1.2 billion project threatens to become the ecological and economic ruin of the National Park region. In the population the resistance to the gigantic project is growing; lœwn supports the citizens' initiative, which eventually wins.

Brand development2012

The brand Rettet den Rursee is characterized by strong contrast. The most dominant color resembles the blue of the sound lake and thus illustrates an idyllic status quo.

The complementary red stands in glaring contrast to the idyll and is used in the brands communication to illustrate the danger to the region.

The communication of opposites is additionally supported by the keyvisual. The torn landscape is used as a dominant element of communication on all channels and underlines the narrative of the idyll in danger in addition.

Webdesign & -development2012

After the Citizens' initiative is founded, everything has to happen very fast. Within a few days a first landing page is uploaded; an onepager with a connected newsletter feature.

Over time, the website of the initiative is gradually expended and successively transformed into an information portal.

For example: What do 200.000 trucks look like, which would have to pass through the villages during the construction period? Various info pages illustrate the impact the project would have on the region. Visualisation valued by the public:


It's not sufficient to be against something. A successful fight requires sound reasoning. In addition to the active dissemination of the initiative views, this also means a critical examination of the opponents arguments.

In order to shape the discourse, it is essential to let the blunt arguments of the opponents be of no avail. For Rettet den Rursee, this – among other things – means providing proof that a pumped storage plant would harm the region, while not substantially contributing to the german energy transition.

Supported by facts and media attention, it is possible to forge a coalition of citizens, politicians and industry around the lake. Rettet den Rursee collects more than 8.500 signatures against the power plant. The neighboring communities eventually reject the project by a majority.

Public relations2012

Concept and strategy of the initiative succeed. More than 150 articles in the regional and national press as well as various blog posts deal with the fight of the citizens against the gigantic project.

We succeed in framing the opponents, a "municipal utilities cooperation in Europe" as an international energy company.

5vor12 demonstration at Rursee2013

In March 2013 things are getting serious. The regional council in Cologne decides on the project. In order to make people's voices heard even more clearly, we are holding a demonstration at the Rursee with an outcome previously unknown in the region.

Despite a drizzle, more than 1000 people gather at the lake. A public transport shuttle service is arranged to transport participants to the venue for free. On stage, top-class speakers and musicians from the region support the concerns of the people.

Within less than 24 hours, we produce a demo video for Vimeo and the social media...


...which is well received, shared and increasingly gains traction.

48 hours after the demonstration we publish a press release dropping a bombshell.


Trianel tries to silence the citizens' initiative using a cease and desist order. The threatened penalty amounts to € 500.000

A capital mistake that we can use effectively. By strategically potentiating the Streisand effect, Trianel's cease and desist order inflicts more damage than the release of project documents could ever have done.

Trianel surrenders2013

On 21.06.2013 Trianel abandons the field and irrevocably buries the plan to build a pumped storage plant at Rursee.

After the fierce struggle of the people, the announcement of the project developer is followed by a sigh of relief in the region and Germany-wide press coverage.

Five years later2018

Even five years after Trianel ended their project, Rettet den Rursee stays an widely recognised name in the Eifel. Visiting the Rursee today, one still encounters traces of the successful fight of the citizens' initiative.