Cannes Lions



Case Film
Supporting Content






Chances are you’ve heard of Vodafone, a major communications company across the globe. Childline is an incredibly important organisation that helps millions of children in Ireland by providing a confidential support system available by phone, live chat, and messaging 24/7. Their mission is to make sure every Irish child is heard.

Roald Dahl’s books, and films have been famous for 3 generations or more in Ireland – so his way of talking to children strikes a chord with parents, children, and even grandparents. His work is not only enjoyed, but well understood as being a way to introduce children safely to some of the difficulties of growing up – and how to deal with them.


The Roald Dahl style answer: “Headbomz”.

Headbomz are what happens when you leave a small problem in your head and say nothing. It builds and builds until you feel your head is going to burst (and in fact it might, in a gorey mess of goo!). It’s a piece of language for teachers, parents, children, and coaches to help begin conversations.

Headbomz launched with a childishly disgusting and funny, animated, educational song, full of exploding heads, flying noses, eyeballs and even brains. It explains how talking stops Headbomz and all the ugly mess that goes with them. (Cinema, TV and VOD).

In October 2018, we partnered with an award-winning author, Oisin McGann, to create the children’s book and schools’ program: Headbomz: Wreckin’ Yer Head. We launched on World Mental Health Day with a live-stream assembly in schools across Ireland: The Great Headbomz Assembly.


We used a child psychologist to understand how Irish children communicated:

• while 95% of Irish children agreed they wanted someone who would listen and help them, there wasn’t enough talking happening

• children didn’t know how talking helps, or have the words to do it. They could say they felt “sad”, “mad”, or “bad”.

• so they didn’t talk - and small things could build up, becoming bigger frustrations and anger.

OUR INSIGHT: children didn’t know how talking helps and needed a language for doing it

They needed to understand that talking would stop the bad feelings, and better words to talk with - to understand their feelings, talk and move on.

WE CHANGED THE BRIEF - to encourage calls, we championed a culture of open talking: talking while something is a small problem helps stop it from becoming bigger.

OUR CREATIVE PROPOSITION: Talking Makes Us Stronger.

But how to find the words? We briefed creatives to borrow from the entertainer famous for speaking to children about the difficulties of life: Roald Dahl. His work makes nasty things funny and understandable, in a way that children love and remember.

We asked creatives: “What would Roald Dahl do?”.


Our campaign showed:

• The film was a hit

• YouTube ad recall of 40% is also best in class for Irish charity sector activity and level of spend.

• We raised awareness of Childline

• YouTube brand uplift research shows a 45% uplift in awareness of Childline with 8-10 year olds – awareness uplift norm for charity You Tube activity is 15%.

• We drove traffic for Childline

• 92.55% uplift in Google Search traffic for “Childline” and 70% uplift in Google search traffic for ‘Childline Number’ during the campaign.

Best of all, we got 30% of Ireland’s youth population -- 58,000 children, to change their mind about how willing they were to call Childline, after seeing Headbomz.

Headbomz is becoming a piece of language: Childline volunteers report that ‘Headbomz’ is being used in calls.

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