NHS blood & transplant - "Operation Donation": Raising awareness and encouraging sign up for organ donation.

NHS Blood & Transplant (NHSBT) approached us to help them raise awareness and drive registrations for the organ donation register. Even though a single donor can save or transform up to nine different people’s lives, three people a day and over 1,000 people die every year waiting for a donor. Currently around 6,500 people in the UK are in need of an organ transplant, with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic patients having to wait up to a year longer for a kidney transplant. NHS Blood & Transplant (NHSBT) approached us to help them raise awareness and drive registrations for the organ donation register. Even though a single donor can save or transform up to nine different people’s lives, three people a day and over 1,000 people die every year waiting for a donor. Currently around 6,500 people in the UK are in need of an organ transplant, with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic patients having to wait up to a year longer for a kidney transplant.

Making a stand to stimulate discussion around a sensitive issue.

NHSBT’s research had highlighted their biggest challenge was a lack of conversation around the topic, so we focused our efforts on encouraging discussion around organ donation to deliver 600 registrations through a fast and simple registration process. To do this, we developed a campaign with powerful but simple messages that would cut-through, while being sensitive to the gravitas of the subject matter and religious sentiment. We targeted the over 50s, lower income families and minority groups with simple straight-forward messages at shopping centres in major UK cities, including Manchester, Leicester & Nottingham over busy weekends.

Hasbro Operation™ to encourage registration

To help entice audiences on to the stand, we partnered with toy giant HASBRO to create a life-size version of the classic game Operation™ - the first collaboration of its kind by HASBRO. And because of the critical nature of the campaign, we negotiated a zero licensing fee with them. Our ‘Cavity Sam’ game experience challenged members of the public to operate and save Cavity Sam within 2 minutes - the time it takes to register for organ donation. While some participants played the game, others had the opportunity to interact with the Cavity Sam character through a photo booth, to encourage photo sharing to amplify reach. We also had local NHS volunteers on-hand to offer guidance and information and we developed a social comms plan and filmed video content during the campaign, to raise further awareness and educate audiences about the initiative. We successfully delivered the campaign within a modest budget, while exceeding all of our project objectives. The campaign delivered 861 registrations – 44% above our target of 600. We successfully reached our target socioeconomic groups with 44% Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups, 33% lower-income and 8% over 50s. The campaign received extensive PR coverage in local press with a media value of almost £11,000 and we reached 54,732 people through social media. As a result of the successful campaign, we have been asked to activate further campaigns across the UK for the NHS. The campaign was awarded with a Gold Award for Partnership Engagement Initiative of the year at the UK Public Sector Communications Awards.