OGILVY, Singapore / CADBURY / 2022

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Supporting Images
Supporting Images
Supporting Images




Why is this work relevant for PR?

Flags of Generosity is not just a physical flag that allowed us to help thousands of Malaysian families survive the pandemic during a strict lockdown. It is also an idea with a powerful story and meaning. Without any paid media, this story has compelled journalists, residents, and influencers to spread our message.

A campaign with storytelling at its core, we rallied Malaysians together to rise up in times of distress, and proved that there is truth to our brand belief: there’s generosity in everyone.


Between 18 March 2020 to 31 December 2021, Malaysia went through a series of strict lockdowns which saw all non-essential businesses shut down, and citizens confined to a 10km radius of their homes.

As a result, thousands of families were left without work, money, or food. As Covid-19 and hunger spread, white flags started appearing across the country. The flags — sometimes little more than T-shirts or strips of cloth — were a cry for help from low-income families who were financially affected by the long coronavirus pandemic.

As a brand that stands for generosity, Cadbury had to step up to find a solution to help.

Describe the creative idea

As white flags became a symbol for those who needed help, we created flags in Cadbury Dairy Milk’s iconic shade of purple for those who wanted to help.

We gave them away on-ground and in supermarkets, so people who would like to help could fly a purple flag to signify they had extra food and supplies to give.

For those without a physical flag, they could also pin their location with a virtual purple flag on our website.

Donations were then collected from the households with purple flags, and passed on to needy families with white flags.

Through the use of a simple purple flag, we managed to rally people during a lockdown to distribute essentials from those who wanted to help, to the people who needed it.

Describe the PR strategy

We knew that our brand belief was true: that there is generosity and kindness in everyone. So we went ahead with an ambitious strategy: to rely on people’s generosity and the community to get the word out.

Without paid media support, we leveraged on our on-ground network of convenience stores, supermarkets, and mom-and-pop shops in affluent areas to distribute the purple flags.

Point-of-sale materials let people know that they could fly purple flags outside their homes if they had extra food and supplies to donate.

Press kits were also sent to journalists to invite them to cover the story.

Describe the PR execution

As families were in dire need of help, the implementation had to be fast. We sent the purple flags as press kits to journalists and invited them to not only cover the story, but also to put up the flag themselves and join our movement. We also partnered with NGOs who were on the ground providing aid to families to amplify our message through their social channels.

List the results

The campaign made Malaysians show their true colours. With zero media spending, we reached over 260 million people. Thousands flew the purple flag and came forward to help, with over 600% increase in donations. 2,078 families flying the white flag received aid. Our story was also picked up by news outlets such as Mashable, Yahoo News, The Smart Local, and Malay Mail.

Please tell us how the work was designed / adapted for a single country / region / market.

The campaign was designed for Malaysia and works only in Malaysia, where a nationwide lockdown to curb a coronavirus surge left thousands of families running out of money and food. White flags were raised outside homes as a symbol of desperation and distress.

In response to this unique crisis, we created purple flags for those who wanted to help and to be easily identified — so we could deliver essential aid efficiently from households with purple flags to families flying white flags.

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