PR > PR: Sectors

SECOND CHANCES

CASANOVA//McCANN, Costa Mesa / DONATE LIFE CALIFORNIA / 2019

Awards:

Gold Cannes Lions
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Overview

Credits

Overview

Why is this work relevant for PR?

Organ donation is the ultimate gift that people can bestow upon a stranger. But only half of Americans register to become a donor, despite 95% believing it’s vital. Second Chances is a program designed to make the impact of human generosity a memorable experience. Police officers give drivers whose licenses are marked as organ donors a “Second Chance Ticket”—a warning in lieu of an actual ticket–for giving someone else a second chance on life. It didn’t just motivate others to become donors, it is motivating police forces across America, and beyond, to adopt Second Chances and help save more lives.

Background

In spite of having the greatest number of licensed drivers in the United States, California also has the lowest percentage of registered organ donors. This is particularly strange since 95% of Americans support the idea of organ donation, but less than half actually take the needed effort to register and receive the “pink dot” donor indicator on their driver’s licenses. This likely has a bit to do with organ donation not being a “glamour” cause — it’s not something that people are active or vocal about unless they are personally touched by it, so — to get more people registered as organ donors — we had to find a way to make the tremendously important, and yet somehow thankless act of registration felt on an individual level.

Describe the creative idea

People proudly display different color buttons, ribbons and pins, to show their support of various causes. Organ donation is different. The only identifiable sign of support is a tiny pink dot on the front of a registered donor’s driver’s license. You register to become an organ donor once, and put the only indication of your support in your wallet. But that tiny pink dot shows a willingness to save up to 8 lives. With over 114 000 people awaiting organ transplants, the need for more registered donors is paramount but awareness for the cause is low. With Second Chances, we saw an opportunity to bring that tiny pink dot out of hiding and use it to thank those who have registered while encouraging others to do the same.

Describe the PR strategy

Our strategy was to transform one of the most stressful situations a driver can face — getting pulled over by the police — into a rewarding experience. Everyone dreads this situation, but — through Second Chances — traffic stops are turned into surprisingly positive experiences. Case in point: Imagine you are a driver — fidgeting as the police officer slowly walks up to your car knowing you’re probably about to get slapped with a $200 fine, and — instead — you get a smile and a personal thank-you for being an organ donor. These experiences are anything but forgettable, and—as these interactions gather steam—they serve as a larger community engagement program that creates closer ties between police departments and their local communities. Ultimately, the issue of registering to become an organ donor becomes less of an abstract issue, and more of a relevant part of everyday life.

Describe the PR execution

The last thing a driver wants to hear is ‘can I see your drivers licence?’. With the Second Chances program, in support of national organ donation awareness month, we used this otherwise stressful moment as an opportunity to give drivers a second chance as a thank you for their willingness to give others a second chance at life. Working with three California police departments, drivers were pulled over for minor traffic violations. Instead of receiving an infraction, registered donors were handed ‘Second Chances’ tickets and praised for their willingness to give others a second chance at life. A toolkit was made available on secondchancesdonor.org to make it easy for other police departments to implement the Second Chances program and support this great cause.

List the results

- In the month the campaign launched, California registered 110,609 new donors— a 38% increase from the year prior.

- More than 3,000,000 free impressions.

- Other police departments adopted the program for their own use. As of today, Beverly Hills, Anaheim, and New York State are taking steps to join the original pilot cities and make this an annually reoccurring program.

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