W Communications

Client: Anthony Nolan

Young men aged between 16 and 18 can make the biggest difference to saving the lives of people with blood cancer through stem cell donations than any other demographic. With more than 2,000 people needing this lifesaving intervention at any given time, Anthony Nolan urgently needed to capture their attention and convince them to become donors. The problem – W Communications insights revealed – is that young British men feel disempowered, disengaged, and, worse still, totally grossed out by the idea of donating stem cells. And this makes them the group least likely to bother.

Many award entries are packed with colossal ‘opportunities to see’ numbers, which are often greater than both the UK population and the audience demographics the campaigns seek to reach. For Anthony Nolan, seeing a campaign wouldn’t be enough – if the target audience didn’t follow through and do what was needed, then people would die. That’s why W transformed the complicated subject matter of blood cancer and stem cell donation into a campaign with just one metric: opportunities to save lives. W’s bold, influencer-powered ‘Opportunities to Save’ campaign tapped into the sweat and tears young men give football clubs to ask for their blood. Reaching the audience through an ambitious YouTube football club and content takeover and one-off charity football match, the campaign increased average annual donations sign-ups of 16-18-year-olds by 25% and saw up to 66% of the population of people living with blood cancer given another chance at life.