This post is part of the People’s Insights monthly briefs issue of February 2014.
The Salvation Army is an international Christian charity, whose work is recognized by many. But in Switzerland, it was suffering from an old fashioned image, which prevented it from forming an emotional bond with the Swiss youth. To reach this younger audience, they decided to participate in the Euro Vision Song Contest 2012.
“Together we’re one”
Salvation Army created the a ‘Takasa’ which consists of 6 Salvation Army ‘soldiers’, united by their shared passion for music and their religious belief. Takasa chose the motto “Together we’re one” to represent the group’s belief that ‘it is important for people of different generations to get along and find unity in shared values.’ The band’s youngest member Sarah Breiter is just 21 years old and its oldest member Emil Ramsauer is 95 years old. Ramsauer even set a new record for being the oldest ever musician to perform on the ESC stage.
The Band won the Swiss National final and the hearts of the people with their song ‘You and Me’. The song with its army style and modern rhythms captivated the audience, which was the opposite of what one would normally expect from the Salvation Army. As blogger Andy Hastings pointed out:
“It’s a poppy, upbeat chanty number with bags of energy, a slightly rock edge and (naturally) some trademark trombone. It’s as eclectic as a song by a band whose members range from 20 to 94 years old can possibly be and – against all odds, it’s not preachy and it’s completely enjoyable. It’s almost like an Alphabeat through the ages, but with a direct line to God.”
As Vocalist Christoph Jakob even said:
“We want to show the world that The Salvation Army can be modern, fashionable and inspire emotion!”
Journey to the Finals
The journey for Takasa wasn’t easy and came with its own set of challenges. The band was formerly known as ‘Heilsarmee,’ but had to change the name and also replace their uniforms to comply with Eurovision’s that that ban religious and political content. Their willingness to do so helped portray The Salvation Army as adaptable – and it doesn’t hurt that Takasa which means pure in Swahili is also a clever acronym for “The Artists Known As Salvation Army.”
While Takasa didn’t win the final ECS 2013, the band continues to be popular and performs for various tours and concerts organized by The Salvation Army.
02 February – People’s Insights Monthly Briefs by MSLGROUP
About People’s Insights
100+ thinkers and planners within MSLGROUP share and discuss inspiring projects – that are driving engagement with stakeholders – on the MSLGROUP Insights Network. Every month, we pick the best projects and analyse conversations around them, on the MSLGROUP Insights Network itself and also on the broader social web, into an insights report. Every quarter, we compile original insights from the MSLGROUP global network into the People’s Insights Quarterly Magazine.
In our first year and half, we focused on inspiring consumer projects around social data, crowdsourcing, storytelling and citizenship. We synthesized the insights to provide foresights for business leaders and change-makers in the ten-part People’s Insights annual report titled Now & Next: Ten Frontiers for the Future of Engagement, also available as a Kindle eBook and an iPad app.
In 2013, we launched “The Future of” series with a focus on Citizenship, Money and Employee (Re)Engagement. In 2014, we continue to track inspiring projects that are shaping the future of engagement, with a focus on reputation, employee engagement and citizenship.