Cannes Lions

BUSKING FOR LIFE

RED AGENCY, Sydney / SONY / 2014

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Description

Young Australians with cancer are a ‘forgotten generation’ who are falling through gaps in the medical system. When patients turn 16 they are moved into adult wards where their chance of survival can be reduced by up to 50%.

Sony Group’s charity arm, The Sony Foundation, wanted to generate support and fundraise for a new youth cancer centre. We were tasked with increasing awareness of this alarming issue and encouraging the public to donate and help raise $1.5 million to build a new centre.

‘Busking for Life’ was created to place patients at the forefront of the campaign and illustrate the need for specialised care. As a world-first fundraising initiative, the public could interact with the patients in real-time, while they busked from their hospital beds. The feed was beamed to a big screen at one of Sydney’s most high profile busking locations and busiest passenger terminals, designed to attract widespread attention.

The public could pledge their support by donating money into a guitar case on site or online via the Busking for Life website. Passers-by were also handed hospital wristbands containing the message “I pledge not to take this wristband off until $1.5 million is raised”, providing a catalyst to spread awareness.

Our strategy was focused on showcasing the musical talents of patients in an inspirational campaign, empowering them to take an active role in their treatment. We used earned media and social media to increase visibility and journalists were invited to visit the patients in hospital for interviews.

Execution

The challenge was to create a compelling platform that would put the campaign at the heart of the news agenda. We created a world-first fundraising initiative to allow the public to interact live with young cancer patients and musicians from Sony Australia, while they busked from hospital beds.

The event was broadcast live to Circular Quay, one of Australia’s busiest passenger terminals in the heart of Sydney, via a two-way video feed, displayed on a large TV screen, enabling commuters to watch and engage with patients in real-time, as well as online.

The public could pledge their support by donating money into a guitar case on site or via the Busking for Life website. Passers-by were also handed hospital wristbands containing the message “I pledge not to take this wristband off until $1.5 million is raised”, providing a catalyst to spread awareness of the campaign.

Outcome

Following the social and media coverage and online donations during and post-event, with additional corporate contributions, we finally raised the $1.5 million required to build the new youth cancer centre.

• Over 70,000 people passed by during the day to watch the live feed.

• 10,000+ people logged on to the Busking for Life website to donate on the day.

• 2,000+ was received from donations at Circular Quay.

• Reached more than 6 million+ through media and social.

• Secured live weather crosses on Australia’s most-popular breakfast show Today, a 5 minute segment on Channel 10 and a feature that ran numerous times on ABC Breakfast.

• Secured front cover of our top commuter newspaper mX, a feature in Sydney’s biggest-read newspaper Daily Telegraph, presence on the ninemsn homepage (the most visited website in Australia) and double page spread in NW magazine.

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