Although young, healthy, active men are the most successful donors, they make up only a fraction of the DKMS‘ database. Truth is, they are simply not interested in sad, frustrating topics like blood cancer.
Describe your Lovie Finalist project. What’s the elevator pitch?

DKMS fights blood cancer as Germany’s biggest database for stem cell donors.
Young, active men are their most important donation candidates. To get their attention, we teamed up with soccer star and fashion icon Jerome Boateng and created massive hype for a new secret product drop. This product turned out to be a super stylish Limited Edition of the cotton swab, which DKMS uses to register new donors.

What inspired this particular cause as the subject of your work?

One colleague had a case of blood cancer amongst his friends and wanted to help. By chance, the DKMS‘ office was right around the corner from our agency. So he got in contact with them (and Jerome after that). The rest is history.

What real-world impact were you hoping to make with this project?

Although young, healthy, active men are the most successful donors, they make up only a fraction of the DKMS‘ database. Truth is, they are simply not interested in sad, frustrating topics like blood cancer.
Our goal was to get their attention anyways – by shifting the focus of communication from tragic to the power of helping.

Did your team have a specific “breakthrough” moment when conceiving or executing this project that you can share?

Actually two:
In the beginning, Jerome was open to do a project. But he didn’t want to generic social cases, but only something he could genuinely represent. So when this style icon said he loved the idea, we were more than pumped.
The other moment was, when DKMS gave their approval aswell. You can‘t appreciate enough, how much freedom and trust they gave us with this project, although this is completely different from their usual communication.

Was the tech/medium you chose essential to conveying your message? If so, why?

We chose Instagram as main channel for the communication and the shop because people there are used see new products, collaborations and limited editions.
We figured, we could sneak our message right into the mix, actually proving, that a life saving cotton swab is just as cool as new sneakers.

What was the greatest challenge that arose during your work on this? What about the most rewarding moment?

The video production was postponed 3 times because of Jerome’s Champions League participation with FC Bayern Munich.
So we were in between crossing fingers for their success and kind of hoping they get eliminated so we could finally shoot.

What did you learn in the process of creating this work that you didn't know/expect going in?

Of course every registration matters. On the other side, those registrations are insanely expensive (around 35 Euro each). So the quality of donors might be even more important than pure quantity.
In comparison, it’s easy enough to get older, socially-conscious people to register. But statistically it’s more helpful to get young, healthy people, especially men, who possess more body mass, which is important. That’s extremely difficult for DKMS to communicate. You can’t be to picky in charity. So we are super happy we found a way to contribute.

About the Best Cause Marketing Campaign category

Online campaigns that effectively raised awareness for a specific social or political cause.

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