A Brand Challenge project that required to find a way to attract the next generation of donors to Operation Smile.

Group Credits

We were given the task of working with the NPO Operation Smile. The organisation deals with providing free surgery for cleft lips and palettes in disadvantaged areas.The client approached us to increase awareness and involvement around their donorship programmes to include younger age groups.

How on earth do you make cleft lips cool for people that are brand-conscious and spend their time looking at international trends all day on Instagram?

Brief requirement

Develop a campaign strategy in any chosen medium.


Our research determined the following - We live in a "ME Generation" where aesthetics and convenience are deciding factors when it comes to most things. The youth respond best to reward based systems that are quick and easy.

Common phrases that came out of interviews: "I don't have time." "Sharing NPO's posts ruin my aesthetic." "I want to care, but I don't, it's too inconvineint."

Our approach

We unpacked this project into 3 steps: 1. We have to build positive brand association and awareness before trying to do anything else. 2. Educate the audience on Operation Smile's activities. 3. Get them to donate and get their friends to donate.

Step 1: Create awareness

Launch project on Instagram (Making a dope Instagram feed).

We made apparel. By selling on-trend aesthetic pieces that people love and want, we defined modern giving in a way that allows you to look good while doing good.

The youth aren’t ready to donate their time or money, so we need to incorporate goodwill into the things they do already.

We created a flexible brand system called Smile that sells an evolving range of bespoke goods with donations built into the cost price.

Step 2: Educate

So we figured the only way to educate the youth in a way that's relevant, is to include something that they get with their purchase. Surpise! An information booklet.

The book gives a few facts about Operation Smile, about what they do, and general facts about smiles. It also includes an opportunity to donate at the end.

We made it fun, vibrant, and not too much text. Spreads that are cute, and have the potential to feature aesthetically on your Instagram.

Step 3: Donate

So now that we have everyone interested and educated, how can we get them to donate that's convenient and doesn't result in them going out of their way?

We built the donation process into the purchase. Every donation item has a unique built in SnapScan code. The more you get people to snap, the more rewards! The product you have purchased is packed in a tote bag that has the SnapScan code built into the pattern, and there's the donation gum. Every piece of wrapper has the SnapScan code on it. Your co-workers and family are going to demand it anyways, so may as well make them donate R5 first.


We did this project's creative execution in 2 weeks (vega allows 3 weeks for strat and 2 for execution).

We sometimes didn't sleep for 48 hours and then slept 3 hours then did another 48 hours. We lived off 9pm Burger King drives and coffee. It wasn’t healthy.. I felt like I was a walking shell of myself.

We showed something vital for the industry we exist in: that we can create awesome content that people love. Our jacket we made featured on Cosmopolitan with the chief editor captioning it “want.”