Cannes Lions

SOS BY SMS

DDB BRASIL, Sao Paulo / OBRA DO BERCO / 2013

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Homeless children are a sad reality in Brazil and they gather at traffic lights, where they ask drivers for help or money. Everyone is so used to this that it doesn’t move them anymore and everyone have their car windows shut not to be “bothered” by these children. So we found a simple way to get their voices through these glasses: A small Bluetooth antenna hidden next to the traffic lights send out sms’s to cell phones near the area as if it were the kids doing it, asking drivers to please donate to Obra do Berço, so that they’ll have a place to go.

Everyone is so used to seeing these little kids on the streets that they don’t even notice them anymore. This changes in a second when you’re reached in a way that you never expected by a message directed at you, coming from a homeless child you’re seeing in the middle of the street. People also avoid giving money directly to them because they never know where this money will go, so this was a way to facilitate the help, since they’d donate a small amount right there, following a link on the SMS, to a serious institution that they knew would help them. The stunt happened in different days, on some of the busiest intersections around the city of Rio.

What we could measure was very pleasing to the eye and the heart: A sudden increase in donations while the campaign was happening: the number of permanent sponsors of the institution (those who register to donate monthly) increased over 18% and visits to the website almost tripled (source: OBRJ).

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