DIGITAL DEATH
Type of Entry:Sectors & Services
Category:Charity and Not for Profit
Title:DIGITAL DEATH
Advertiser/Client:KEEP A CHILD ALIVE
Product/Service:AIDS AWARENESS
Entrant Company:TBWA\CHIAT\DAY New York, USA
PR/Advertising Agency:TBWA\CHIAT\DAY New York, USA
Creative Credits
Name Company Position
Mark Figliulo TBWA\Chiat\Day New York Chairman and Chief Creative Officer
Lisa Topol TBWA\Chiat\Day New York Creative Director
Josh DiMarcantonio/Jonathan Marshall TBWA\Chiat\Day New York Associate Creative Director/Copywriter
Eric Stevens TBWA\Chiat\Day New York Associate Creative Director/Art Director
Ani Munoz TBWA\Chiat\Day New York Copywriter
Isabella Castano TBWA\Chiat\Day New York Art Director
Rober Valdes/Josh Morse TBWA\Chiat\Day New York Head of Production/Digital Producer
Katherine D'Addario/Joni Adams TBWA\Chiat\Day New York Print Production
Jeremy Miller TBWA\Chiat\Day New York PR Director
Chris Reardon TBWA\Chiat\Day New York Brand Experience
Eric Kopicki TBWA\Chiat\Day New York Designer
Will Weems TBWA\Chiat\Day New York User Experience Designer
Dima Farer/Scott Jones/Michael Bester/Peter Kuang TBWA\Chiat\Day New York Developers
Richard Levi Brooks/Jordan Farrell/Matt Farmer Use All Five Front End Developers
Nikki Maizel TBWA\Chiat\Day New York Account Director
Keiko Kurokawa TBWA\Chiat\Day New York Account Supervisor
Markus Klinko & Indrani Markus Klinko & Indrani Photographers
Earle Sebastian Keep a Child Alive Director
Viet-An Nguyen/Sonejuhi Sinha Final Cut NY Producer/Editor
Jonny Fego My Active Driveway Executive Producer
Describe the campaign/entry:
Keep A Child Alive (KCA) is a small organization dedicated to fighting HIV/AIDS in Africa and India. But despite the fact that over 1million people die every year, the world has seemingly lost interest in the AIDS epidemic. KCA needed to get the world’s attention and generate conversation around AIDS. And of course they had to do it with no money. Which got us thinking, if the millions of real people dying each year weren’t enough to get the world’s attention, maybe losing the lives of those we idolize most would. That’s why on World AIDS Day Hollywood died…digitally. The world’s top celebrity tweeters vowed to stay off all social media until $1million was raised to buy their digital lives back. With a media budget of zero dollars, it was imperative that the campaign generated press coverage to spread awareness. And, it did. Once the celebrity’s announced their digital deaths with personalized Last Tweet & Testament Videos, the campaign started a media frenzy. KCA received an unprecedented amount of coverage, in fact over 1.5 billion in media impressions, and AIDS was once again major topic of discussion. Most importantly – we reached our goal of $1million in under six days, and ultimately helped KCA save millions of real lives with just a few digital deaths.
Describe the brief from the client:
Our goals were simple: raise as much money as possible, and generate massive conversation around KCA and their mission. To be successful we needed to get the world focused, and talking about AIDS again. And because we had a media budget of zero dollars, we had to do it in a big, impactful way.
Results:
Our objective was to raise as much money as possible for KCA and its fight against AIDS, but it was just as important to raise the overall awareness of the AIDS epidemic and make it a top-of-mind issue once more. We succeeded with both objectives. Not only did we raise the $1 million dollars in under six days, but we created an unprecedented amount of coverage for a fundraising effort. KCA became a household name in the fight against AIDS literally overnight. - Campaign accounted for 1/3 of all coverage of World AIDS Day -buylife.org was inundated with 10k hits/second - Sparked worldwide media coverage - Thousands of normal people joined the celebrities by sacrificing their own digital lives. - 1.5 BILLION media impressions (we’re not making that up) In the end, the campaign helped KCA save millions of real lives with just a few Digital Deaths.
Execution:
On December 1st – World AIDS Day – the world’s top celebrity tweeters sacrificed their digital lives to help save millions of real ones. They sent out personalized Last Tweet & Testaments to their millions of fans, vowing to stay all social media until $1 million was raised to buy their digital lives back. We were completely dependent on the power of each celebrity’s social network to spread awareness. And it worked. Their “Last Tweets” created an unprecedented amount of PR coverage for a fundraising effort, and soon the campaign was everywhere and donations began pouring in.
The Situation:
KCA provides food, shelter, medicine and care to the millions of people affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa and India. But after decades of hearing about the AIDS epidemic, the world seems to have lost interest and shifted its attention to so many other issues and causes. This general feeling of apathy towards the AIDS epidemic coupled with a down global economy made it very difficult for KCA to raise much-needed funding.
The Strategy:
To accomplish our goals we relied on a few human truths: -People are immune to sad images and emotional pitches. We’re confronted with this imagery far too often. And far too often we ignore it. -People generally care more about celebrities than they do strangers. Even ones in need. -People generally like buying a whole lot more than giving. So, we decided to offer people something to buy. Something they never seem to lose interest in – the lives of their favorite celebrities. That’s why on World AIDS Day Hollywood died – digitally.

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