Third Sector Awards 2017: Communications Agency Campaign of the Year - McCann London for Doctors of the World UK

Awarded to an agency that has helped to create a highly successful communications campaign for its client, or provided an exceptional level of support and advice

What was the aim of the campaign?

Doctors of the World UK runs clinics in war-torn parts of the Middle East where the reality is starkly at odds with images of the region presented in traditional Christmas cards. In addition to raising awareness about conflict in the Middle East and raising funds, the charity wanted to boost its own profile.

What did the agency do?

McCann London designed and produced a set of four Christmas cards juxtaposing traditional nativity scenes with recent images of the war-ravaged Middle East. 

The four-week campaign was launched on social media with the hashtag #RealityXmas. It included a weekly video of a Skype interview with a Doctors of the World medic in the Middle East talking about their work. McCann secured free advertising space across London. A petition to Theresa May to allow aid corridors to Aleppo was delivered to Downing Street at the campaign's close.

All of McCann's work on the campaign was done on a pro-bono basis. Staff from both organisations took time out from their normal duties to pack and post the cards.

What did the campaign achieve?

The first run of cards sold out in 48 hours, with 6,716  sold in total, raising more than £34,000 when combined with donations and Gift Aid. The campaign attracted new direct-debit supporters with a five-year value of £10,000. Media coverage generated 1.18 billion impressions and the cards featured in many news publications.

What did the judges say?

"Combining awareness-building, fundraising and policy change is a real challenge for not-for-profits," said Zoe Bailie, director of brand and innovation at The Mix. "With the help of McCann, this has certainly been achieved for Doctors of the World." 

Highly commended

FCB Inferno for Barnardo's


equimedia for the Donkey Sanctuary

Munro & Forster Communications for MHFA England

PMW Communications for Dame Vera Lynn Children's Charity

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