Charity brings together great ideas and great people, but the implementation often gets behind. The charity foundation Gift of Life is known for its thought-provoking campaigns launched all over Russia and even around the world.
This time the goal was to make a full-fledged digital activation against the backdrop of a powerful moving topic. On International Childhood Cancer Day, February 15, we launched the Hair Is Not That Important project.
Cancer is tough to talk about. We wanted to break that psychological barrier and carry our message through — the bald girls and boys who have lost their hair after chemotherapy should not be stared at in the street or at school.
Our communication strategy has developed around the slogan #HairNotTheMainThing. It doesn't matter what hair you have on your head or whether you have hair at all. What matters is who you are beneath it.
Identity and website
When designing the corporate identity, we were guided by the charity’s existing identity — the signature red color and the handwritten font of the logo. We wanted to preserve the association with the foundation and do something bright, not solemn or tragic.
We decided against using people's silhouettes, because they called to mind other social campaigns. The resulting corporate identity was simple, clear, bright, and uncluttered.
The font of the logo is fluid and rounded in character, which helps to smooth out the heaviness of cancer. We put the main emphasis on typography and graphic patterns that resembled hair.
The pattern became a reference to how we’re all different: some of us have straight hair, some have curly hair, and some may not have any hair at all. Whatever hair we have, it doesn’t matter if a person is healthy or on their way to recovery.
Using the identity as a basis, we created a branding. It included stories from the foundation's clients, a link to a face filter on Instagram, comments from the project’s friends, and information on how one can support young people struggling with cancer.
Instagram Face Filter
To make it easier for people to speak about cancer, we launched a face filter that speaks for itself. The main message was displayed on the user's face: hair and appearance are not important, what matters is who you are inside. Such content is easy to share with friends — within a week after its release the face filter had gathered 186,000 views.
To increase our reach and interest among teens, we brought in the Chop-Chop barbershop and Unicorns Out, a temporary tattoo brand, as our partners.They supported the project intellectually and donated a portion of the proceeds from the campaign to the charity foundation.
Starting February 15, during the following week, the project was promoted by social media websites, bloggers, and brand ambassadors: Chulpan Khamatova, Manizha, Ravshana Kurkova, Mark Tishman, Irina Starshenbaum, and others.
The project was even spoken of in the mass media: in the Glamour and the Domashniy Ochag magazines, the RIA Novosti news agency, and other publications.
A wave of publications on the project in its first days has attracted real interest to the problem. Stories of teenagers fighting cancer were reblogged and discussed on social media. On the first day alone, 161 publications were made about the project, not including Instagram stories.
A week later, there were 408 publications made about the project. In one week, the coverage of the Hair Is Not That Important project has reached approximately 2,500,000 people.
Director of the charity foundation Ekaterina Shergova: “We will keep telling others that people who wear masks are not contagious and people who have no hair are not dangerous. They are the ones in need of support, undergoing very difficult treatment.
This support is very common in the West, and we are very happy that together with the HIGH VOLTAGE BRAINS agency we managed to bring attention to this important topic.