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.

W Communication’s ‘Opportunities to Save’ campaign made saving lives its only metric, reaching this most elusive of audiences through a completely new football ecosystem that only exists on YouTube. SE Dons – a YouTube-only football team that has more subscribers than Premier League clubs including Crystal Palace, Fulham, and Brentford – became SE DONATES hosting ‘A Match for A Match’ designed drive stem cell registrations and donor matching. Through this ambitious content campaign, W Communications 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. Anthony Nolan also has a whole new understanding for its hardest-to-convert audience, and this football-focused creative strategy will now form part of its long-term planning to sign up more young men as donors. And all with the aim not of increasing a campaign’s ‘opportunities to see’ but creating genuine ‘opportunities to save’ lives.