Back Back to case studies


Illegal immigrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran lacked any knowledge of the dangers and the costs of illegal migration, and many had wrong or outdated views on the asylum process. Despite Australia’s tough border policies and the consequences of illegal migration by sea, many continued to make this perilous journey without any real understanding of the financial and personal risks involved.

The Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection wanted to develop and implement an anti-people smuggling communication campaign to deter these would-be migrants from attempting to illegally reach its shores by boat.


Lapis ran an integrated multimedia awareness campaign in the target countries to educate people about the high cost of illegal migration, the untrustworthiness of people smugglers, the dangers of attempting to reach Australia by boat, and the harsh conditions that await them in transit countries.

At the heart of the campaign was a telemovie titled “Journey” - a fictional drama that realistically depicted the journeys of protagonists from Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan looking to travel illegally by boat to Australia. The movie’s sensitive portrayal highlighted their personal situations and the challenges they faced.

Lapis created the movie in association with Put It Out There Pictures, and then broadcasted and promoted the movie and its key messages in each of the target markets on TV and social media.


  • Journey was widely watched in each of the four target countries, with peak viewership of 20.9 million in Pakistan, 12 million in Iran, 8.2 million in Iraq and 7.1million in Afghanistan. Overall TV viewership was at 48 million views across the 3 broadcast periods in all markets. 
  • Overall, social media reach was highest in Afghanistan (37million) and Pakistan (30million).
  • The overall sentiment for the movie was very positive on YouTube, especially among Iraqi users.
  • On average, the film registered more than 90% positive sentiment across all playlists and countries on YouTube.