Life hangs by a thread of hair

Silver Award for Excellence 2019

Digital PR

Give Life A Chance Association & Ogilvy & Mather Advertising


One of the most affected patients in Romania are children suffering of cancer due to a poor health sector with no appropriate conditions for the little ones and with no involvement from authorities. The unfortunate consequence of this reality is that, in Romania, one of two children suffering of cancer is dying, while in Europe, 80% of those affected will eventually survive the disease.

In December 2015, the biggest NGO in Romania, Give Life a Chance, decided to act and build the first paediatrics oncology and radiotherapy hospital for children with cancer, a premiere in Romania. In 2018, they wanted to reignite Romanians’ support and active involvement.

Ogilvy Romania joined in to help with an emotional insight related to the most common symptoms of cancer – the hair loss. We have transformed this fact into a strong message to bring attention on the fact that in Romania, the life of children diagnosed with this disease is really hanging by a thread.

Briefly, the campaign started from an innovative idea developed for Instagram. We asked some of most relevant influencers in Romania to post pictures with a fake thread of hair placed on by us. We based the idea on the immediate instinct of people trying to click on the thread and, this way, they were redirected to the main donation message and details about the campaign. This idea generated, in the end, a significant digital campaign, with lots of key influencers doing the same symbolic gesture in a series of emotional videos: removing a thread of hair from their head to raise attention on the reality faced by children diagnosed with cancer in Romania.

This call to action generated reactions from other influencers and people from their communities who followed their example and did the same awakening gesture.

Regular people got involved by doing their own videos and spreading the message, following example of key influences. Other influencers “donated” their birthdays, publicly asking their friends and guests to donate for the cause instead of buying gifts. 

With this emotional yet realistic approach, we managed to reach outstanding results with zero budget.

The campaign raised the most money in the history of the NGO from recurrent donors: 854.466 euros in 2 months and overpassed all its initial objectives. Practically, we overpassed our initial objective with a growth 2 times higher. 

The campaign generated never seen before results: an increase of 990% growth of recurrent donors that donate 4 euros vs the previous one year and a half – January 2017-September 2018 (measurement tool: client data). 

In a two months campaign we’ve managed to convince 65.886 new individual recurrent donors to support the cause of Give Life a Chance NGO. In the past 3 years, the ONG has managed to convince 150.000 people to donate for their cause, this meant an increase of the number of individual donors by 44%.



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