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Top 6: June 22nd 2016

Operation Smile South Africa: #Operation45

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Top 6: June 22nd 2016
1 in 700 children in South Africa is born with a cleft lip or palate. Operation Smile provides free surgeries to repair cleft lips and palates. Awareness of the operation is surprisingly low, but we found the biggest barrier to be the fear that it's a long and difficult procedure. The operation is in fact simple it takes as little as 45 minutes to perform a cleft lip surgery. That’s the same amount of time as half a game of soccer. To create mass awareness of this fact, we performed a live cleft lip operation on two boys, Alex and Ofentse, during each 45-minute half of Africa’s most televised soccer match. On game day, we hijacked the TV broadcast format of a soccer match and aired #Operation45 pre, half-time and post-game interviews with our surgeon. He introduced our two patients, Alex and Ofentse, and directed viewers to follow the surgeries live on Twitter. We timed it so that each operation started at precisely the beginning of each half.Viewers could follow the game on TV and the operation on Twitter all in real time.
#Operation45 became a national news story. It generated over R3 million in earned media and reached over 22 million people almost half the population of South Africa.More importantly, there has been a large increase in child registrations.During one game of soccer, Alex and Ofentse helped to educate millions that it takes as little as 45 minutes to change a life.Agency : Y&R South Africa
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Digital Production: Domino Digital

PR: Irvine Bartlett

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