Thank heavens for those saintly souls that have the innate moral drive, compassion and humanitarian zeal to relentlessly pursue the good work that they do for so many social causes.
A fact that is not often appreciated nor adequately socially acknowledged is the prominent role Advertising Agencies globally play in motivating crucial public support of humanitarian and social upliftment initiatives.
Many of us unfortunately, need prodding and constant persuasion to take social responsibility action.
1. FATH, A Man & A Dog
Advertising Agency: DDB Worlwide, Argentina, Buenos Aires
This public service campaign for FATH, The Argentinian Liver Transplant Foundation (Fundación Argentina de Trasplante Hepático), was done pro bono by DDB Buenos Aires.
The touching story about the extraordinary loyalty of a dog was directed by Rodrigo Garcia Saiz with great sensitivity and storytelling craftsmanship.
Within a few days of being released on YouTube, over 8 million views were achieved and the story was rapidly shared on social media networks.
Long Live New York
New Yorkers are ranked second last in the number of registered organ donors in the United States. Y&R New York decided on an animated short film to target New Yorkers to up their registration.
My initial reaction would have been that the solution requires some highly emotional, real life scenario of the life-giving impact an organ donor can make, like the Argentinian ‘The Man & A Dog’ commercial.
But maybe as a result of being subjected to too many heart-wrenching reality stories by numerous aid and donor agencies, most New Yorkers have simply ‘switched off’.
Like many people globally, they may have reached a point of empathy overload and decided to drown out the social responsibility ‘noise’ instead of being swamped by it, and focus on dealing with the trials and tribulations of their own busy lives.
An animated story is most possibly the fresh approach required that will be disruptively appealing enough to motivate New Yorkers out of their inaction.
2. New York Organ Donor Network, Long Live New York
Advertising Agency: Y&R, New York, USA
Directed by Laurent Witz, this beautifully crafted animated short film is designed to increase organ donor registration by appealing to the pride and sense of community of New Yorkers.
The soundtrack is by composer Francois Rousselot and performed by the Macedonia Radio Symphonic Orchestra.
3. National Health Service UK, Missing Type
Advertising Agency: WCRS Engine, London
With over 600 million digital devices connected to AdBlock globally by people wanting to disengage from advertising, reaching out to blood donors, or any donors for that matter, becomes harder every day.
WCRS, London however, found a way with an idea that is brilliant in its simplicity, relevance and motivational participation.
The International Advertising Association (IAA) very recently honoured the Agency with a ‘Best Of Show Award’ and a Diamond Award for ‘Brilliant Use of Social Media’ for their National Health Service ‘NHS Missing Type’ campaign.
New donor registration increased by 20,000 during National Blood Week compared to the previous year. It is estimated that the new total equates to the saving or improving of over 100,000 lives.
For me, the willing collaboration and level of generous support by major brands is astounding and immensely heart warming.
4. National Health Service UK, Missing Type, International
Advertising Agency: WCRS Engine, London
Directed by Luke Jacobs this commercial introduced the globalization of the ‘Missing Type’ initiative. Blood services from 21 countries joined NHS Blood and Transplant in an international drive, calling for new blood donors.
What had started in 2015 as a social and digital campaign had now been successfully extended into the physical realms of 21 countries’ to reach over two billion people.
The powerful media reach and influence of major brands through their laudable co-operation once again helped amplify the call to action with their co-ordinated domino effect of missing letters of the alphabet related to blood types.
5. Donate Life, The World’s Biggest Asshole
Advertising Agency: The Martin Agency, Richmond, Virginia
The story of Coleman Sweeney, ‘The World’s Biggest Asshole’, was a brave decision by Donate Life to grab the attention of young people by using a crass description for a equally crass character.
To most young people it is a familiar figure of speech used in daily conversations and it seems they did not think the metaphor was inappropriate. The commercial was viewed more than 80 million times in 76 countries, was shared millions of times on social channels and received coverage on many news networks.
Donate Life went from 149 to 1,022 registrations per day, an increase of 586 percent. Also noteworthy is that being a nonprofit organisation, Donate Life had no production, nor media budget. The services of the Martin Agency and everyone involved in the production were done free of charge.
Directed by Will Speck and Josh Gordon with Will Arnett providing the voice-over, the campaign went on to win 10 Cannes Lions last year.