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.

Social listening indicated that football was the solution. But not mainstream football, which has priced the audience out, but YouTube football, which has become such a dominate force in the modern game that this audience now follows a completely new football ecosystem that only exists on the platform. W Communication’s approach saw the agency turn YouTube-only football team SE Dons into SE DONATES, for a campaign with just one metric: saving lives. The week-long club and content takeover, culminated in a one-off charity football match – ‘A Match for A Match’ – played against another uber-popular YouTube team and was supported with an integrated owned, earned, and paid content plan that spanned six weeks. And when the final whistle on the campaign blew, W had increased average annual donations sign-ups of 16-18-year-olds by 25%, which saw up to 66% of the population of people living with blood cancer given another chance at life.