Harrison's Fund: I wish my son had cancer

ais London

The team

Geoff Gower – Managing Partner, Creative
Kevin Bratley – Creative Director
Dan Madden – Copywriter
John Vinton – Deputy Creative Director, Copy
Matt Eastwood – Art Director
Sharnna Peck – Creative Artworker
Alan Powdrill – Photographer

How did the campaign make a difference?

Only by getting noticed could this campaign raise awareness of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), and thus raise money for vital research. The ad hit the headlines and really took off online. Website visits rose by 17,000%. Facebook reach increased by 800%. Donations are up by over 200% to £65,000.

What details of the strategy make this a winning entry?

With no budget and just one 25x4 black and white press ad, this strategy succeeded in getting people talking all over the world. Harrison's Fund is named after a cheeky six-year-old boy, Harrison Smith. He lives with the fatal disease, DMD, and will probably die from it before he turns 20. There's no treatment, no cure and little hope for DMD sufferers. Harrison's father, Alex Smith, gave up his job in 2012 to start Harrison's Fund. He had one aim: to raise as much money as possible for research. Not easy when no-one's heard of it and you've got no budget. Up against high-profile charities with big budgets, it seemed an impossible task. But it was key to raise awareness of the plight of children with DMD. The Evening Standard offered a 25x4 black and white press ad, which was a start. But the campaign had to get people talking online to really drive donations.

How did creativity bring the strategy to life?