Strength to Give is on an urgent mission to register a new generation of diverse stem cell donors – and save the lives of critically ill Australians fighting blood cancer.
The Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry has released its first campaign for Strength to Give, led by independent creative agency Supersolid.
The nationwide effort aims to address the critical shortage of stem cell donors in Australia by recruiting 3% of the eligible donor population (Australians aged 18-35).
For many critically ill blood cancer patients, a stem cell donation is their only hope for a cure. A mere 30% of patients will find a donor match within their own family, meaning most are forced to rely on a life-saving donation from a complete stranger.
While there are currently more than 175,000 Australians registered as stem cell donors, very few of them are young men and only around 25% are from a diverse ethnic background.
This matters because, clinically speaking, young men make for the most successful donors, and because patients are far more likely to match with a donor from the same ethnic background.
Leading with a 45” film and supported by a suite of social, digital and radio placements, ‘There’s No One Like Me’ features an authentic cast of young Australians with a focus on First Nations, Pasifika, South East Asian, and Middle Eastern backgrounds.
It’s those who would struggle most to find a stem cell donor in Australia – as well as the LGBTQIA+ community, which has historically been excluded from stem cell donor recruitment efforts.
The film, directed by Collider’s Ben Briand, showcases the many forms of life-saving strength these potential donors possess, drawing from the worlds of ballroom voguing, rugby league, hip-hop, and car culture, before unexpectedly confronting them with a compelling and highly-personal call for donors.
Lisa Smith, ABMDR CEO, said every year, around 1,000 Australian patients need a life-saving stem cell transplant.
“Each patient needs a donor that is their unique match, and their chances of finding that match depend on how many donors have similar ancestry,” she said.
“The gravity of the situation demands swift action, with lives hanging in the balance.”
Elissa Gillon, ABMDR marketing & communications manager, said Strength to Give urgently needs a new generation of young, diverse donors.
“‘There’s No One Like Me’ is a rallying cry to the nation that will appeal to potential donors of all backgrounds. We look forward to seeing the impact it will have, and the lives it will help save,” said Gillon.
onathon Shannon, creative director at Supersolid, said this was a rare opportunity to leverage the power of persuasion for an important cause.
“We knew this campaign would require radical creativity underpinned by rigorous research – exactly the sort of challenge that Supersolid was founded to solve,” he said.
“I’ve registered as a stem cell donor, and I hope more young advertising professionals will join me on the registry.”
Stem cell donation is open to people aged 18-35. It doesn’t matter if someone has lived in the UK, travelled overseas, had recent male-to-male sex, or gotten a tattoo – as long as they’re generally healthy and hold a valid Medicare card, a simple cheek swab is all it takes to get started.