Oops! I Did It Again

Somalia is a country located in the Horn of Africa.

It has a huge coastline. And a fabulous strategic position connecting the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden to the Indian Ocean.

That's why Somalia plays such an important role in global trade. Because it connects Africa, Asia and Europe through some of the World's busiest shipping routes.

But when civil war broke out throughout Somalia in 1991, something crazy happened.

Somali pirates started to operate in the Gulf of Aden and the Western Indian Ocean. They started attacking fishing vessels and container ships.

Things started getting worse, year after year. And a few decades later, the Somali coast became the World's most dangerous waters.

In 2011, Somali pirates attacked 176 ships. This was an all-time high. Global trade was under threat. So the international community finally decides to do something about it.

They send naval patrols to fight Somali pirates in the region. And make shipping routes safer.

The British Royal Navy had 1,500 sailors on 14 warships operating in the region.

And they figured out a simple and unexpected solution to fight these mighty pirates: Britney Spears’ songs.

The Royal Navy discovered that when they used their ship’s speakers to blast songs like Oops! I Did it Again, this would scare off Somali Pirates.

Turns out Somali pirates absolutely hate Western culture and music.

This tactic was so effective that the Royal Navy rarely needed to resort to firing guns.

And piracy attacks in the region dropped to 36 in 2012, and 7 attacks in 2013.

As Paul Arden once said, 'If you can't solve a problem, it's because you're playing by the rules'. A great reminder for us all in the marketing industry.

Your pal,

Miguel Ferreira
Founder & Chief Copywriter, Teardwn + Nishi

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