Fundraising, Charities, Appeals, Non-Profit Organisations, Public Health & Safety, Public Awareness Messages
DRIVE DENTSU Beirut, LEBANON
DRIVE DENTSU Beirut, LEBANON
CLANDESTINO FILMS Beirut, LEBANON
In Lebanon, citizens suffer from the absence of an official national blood bank, which makes it extremely challenging for people in need of blood to actually obtain it, except by desperately contacting friends and family.
In light of this very challenging situation, DSC’s mission is to address the lack of a government-endorsed process by creating a database of potential blood donors to answer the largest possible number of demands. This mission was set alongside an ambitious objective of recruiting 10,000 new donors.
Based on the insight that ‘asking for blood, feels like begging’ we organized a stunt–filmed with hidden cameras –consisting of undercover street volunteers approaching people in cars and knocking on their windows at a major crowded intersection in Beirut to beg for… blood.
As soon as it was posted on DSC’s social media assets, “A new breed of beggars” went viral overnight, with a significant organic growth of over 15,000 views in just 2 days. At that point, the stunt seemed to have a life of its own. It quickly started spreading like wildfire after being picked up by social websites and independent bloggers, in addition to the significant interest shown by mass media, namely major newspapers and TV stations.
As a testament of its effectiveness, its organic growth continued on a solid pace to generate over 45,000 views in the 2 following weeks.
Both the organic spread and the evident word of mouth are a direct testimony of the stunt’s effectiveness on the PR level.
The challenge at hand could not be tackled through a traditional campaign with traditional means. We could not but devise a PR-oriented strategy that would allow DSC to speak with people and allow them in turn to speak amongst them.
The campaign’s objective was for DSC to move people and push them to react despite the challenging nature of the message and its context.
While our message is relevant to the entire population, our efforts remain among the 18–30 range, as a way to generate the much-needed awareness among the young, while banking on their ability to take action.
The DSC stunt managed to speak directly with people, instigating a difficult topic, which quickly became a nationwide conversation picked up in PR pieces by major newspapers and TV stations, which were compelled to invite DSC representatives to relevant shows.
All this effort translated into an increase of 250% of new donors subscribed to the cause during the activation period.
Given the ongoing success of the campaign, we will surely complement the stunt with a second burst to sustain the momentum and assist DSC in achieving the results and hopefully correcting people’s perception of this key topic.
From the start, we decided to bank on the viral potential of our campaign, which was originally devised with this objective in mind.
Thus, the initial and exclusive medium we opted for was DSC’s social media assets - mainly Facebook and YouTube – knowing that people in need of blood traditionally consult such platforms to try their luck with friends or even total strangers.
The above was done with zero dollars invested in online media booking, which clearly demonstrates that the stunt’s viral reach was generated from a purely organic growth driven by people.
During the activation period–july 16th till August 16th–the campaign managed to over deliver against our initial objectives and no revisions nor alterations were made on the video itself or its publication. Instead we decided to let it grow and reach its full organic potential, as evidenced by the results it generated.
In light of lack of a national blood bank, the Lebanese government is unfortunately absent from the process that secures blood supplies to hospitals. When patients in need can’t provide blood in return, they don’t have access to hospitals’ blood reserves, leaving them with no other choice than desperately begging for blood through text messages and social media platforms.
It’s also essential to highlight how difficult it is to instigate blood donations in Lebanon. People unfortunately allow their individualism, complacency or simply fear of the needle to overcome their duty of giving blood.
In light of the dual challenge consisting of the context surrounding DSC’s mission and people’s individualistic nature, we decided to go with an unconventional approach to address the issues.
As such, we opted for a stunt which banks on a sadly relevant and growing phenomenon in Beirut: Street begging. Streets became our medium and our volunteers carried DSC’s message, allowing us to reach people directly while gauging and documenting their reactions.
The stunt’s significant twist–being the actual reason behind the begging–aimed at delivering a strong call for action by touching people in their core through a play on word that asks people “not to be cold-blooded”. The somewhat harsh tonality of the campaign’s line was deliberately selected to differentiate this initiative from other/ previous campaigns the NGO usually does – traditionally during blood drives – and mostly as a way to shake the status quo and move people.