Cannes Lions

Toys That Reach Hearts


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Christmas is an emotional time of the year, in which people are more opened to engage in solidarity campaigns. For the third year in a row Sonae Sierra, a Portuguese real estate company that works mainly on the shopping centers and retail business branch, has been organizing donations of toys to children in need, in order to brighten up their holidays season.

In 2018 the retailer, as the manager of 22 shopping centers across Portugal, wanted to take its usual campaign even further, reinvent it, by maximizing its strengths and potential of communication, and by minimizing its weaknesses.


The solution was to partner with the Portuguese Child Support Institute (IAC), and, in order to help this association, develop a campaign called “Toys That Reach Hearts”.

We wanted to create emotion, surprise and generate buzz! The message had to be differentiating, simple but highly emotional, in order to appeal to and guarantee the involvement of customers, to help kids in such a time of the year. As in the previous years the challenge was to, during Christmas time, ask the population to offer toys to children in need, but with a twist. Institutionalized across the country got to write down their most desired gift on a card, and each person who engaged in this campaign would support the dream of a specific child.


We decided to have Cláudia Vieira, an actress with a huge influence in Portugal, alongside the renowned pediatrician Mário Cordeiro, and the IAC representative Melanie Tavares, speak in an emotional video, stating that these children don’t have a normal Christmas yet, but that we have the power to make it jollier by buying them their most desired gift. They also highlighted the fact that all children have the right to play, as it is stated in the Declaration of the Rights of the Child.


This campaign was held in 20 shopping centers from North to South of Portugal. The protagonists appeared in some of them, promoting a ‘playful chain’ of laughter, happiness and playfulness, symbolizing solidarity towards these children. The video was published and shared in Facebook and Instagram.

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