W Communications

Client: Anthony Nolan

When W Communications asked grime star Don Strapzy – the founder and captain of YouTube football club SE Dons – to help save the lives of people living with blood cancer, he was very interested but honest. His club had never even considered a charity collaboration before, let alone activated one. With only a small team in place, W would have to do all the heavy lifting.

But the truth is, there was no other option. Creating the campaign for Anthony Nolan was a matter of life or death. The young men who are the most engaged with YouTube football are the group that can make the biggest difference to saving the lives of blood cancer patients through stem cell donations. But they are also the least likely to bother because they feel disempowered, disengaged, and, frankly, totally grossed out by the idea. Insight and social listening told W that football was the route to persuasion. That’s when the agency turned 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 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.