#SeetheMiracle – Innovative Storytelling
Sightsavers commissioned us to devise a launch campaign for their ambitious £50 million fundraising campaign to deliver 1 million cataract operations across Africa and Asia by 2019.
Our aim was to enable the audience to walk in the shoes of somebody with cataract and bring them closer to the story in order to understand both life without sight, and how a simple seven-minute operation can radically change lives.
This project utilised all our skills across social media, public relations and innovative use of technology and marketing.
A seven minute operation can radically change lives.
An audacious idea
Our concept was to produce two LIVE broadcasts. The first, a cataract operation from a rural hospital in Malawi, Africa.
A day later, in a second broadcast, the audience would witness LIVE the heart-stopping moment the bandages are removed and sight is restored.
This storytelling was designed to drive online engagement, generate media headlines and excite potential media partners.
To support the LIVE event we produced stunning content to populate social media channels as well as fulfil the charity’s direct marketing needs.
In order to increase our audience, we recruited a well-known YouTuber to join us in Malawi and host the live operation and the bandage reveal.
Doug Armstrong, our YouTuber, visiting the local hospital where the surgery will take place.
Dave Carter filming with cataract patients, telling their stories.
Liz Scarff speaking with a cataract patient about the impact blindness on her life.
Dave Carter strapped into a pick-up truck to film health worker Madalistso on his motorbike.
Fieldcraft Studios team rigging the operating theatre for the live broadcast.
Francis climbing onto the hospital roof to position the satellite equipment.
Filming with families in their village.
Finding the perfect case study in Malawi to drive the story was vital.
With years of experience producing stories for national newspapers, magazines and television we know how to find the right characters and craft a story that an audience can connect with.
Blindness has trapped Winesi in his house for years.
We were looking for somebody who had been blind due to cataract for a few years.
Somebody who would see a family member for the first time once their sight was restored – we knew this would drive media headlines.
We found Winesi March, he had been blind for two years due to cataract and had never seen his granddaughter Luka.
Newspaper coverage reached an audience of 32.6 million.
Crafting a narrative
In the week before the LIVE surgery we produced stunning film and photography that unfolded across social media channels.
This content not only introduced the characters and set the scene for the live event it also enabled us to tell a complicated story in a simple and engaging way.
The audience met Winesi and his family and learnt about the issues facing twenty million people, mostly in developing countries, living unnecessarily with blinding cataracts.
The audience also met health worker, Madalitso Nyangulu who travelled miles by motorbike along treacherous roads to find and refer Winesi for surgery.
And Dr Msukaw, one of Malawi’s few trained eye surgeons, who performed the surgery live.
Short film produced for prestigious Sightsavers fundraising event at Royal College of Medicine
Fieldcraft Studios delivered the Telegraph and Google as media partners to the project.
By bringing The Telegraph and Google on board this in turn secured UK Government match funding for the project.
We have years of experience working in remote and hostile environments. For this project Fieldcraft Studios custom built a portable TV studio that we could easily set-up and broadcast via satellite from a rural clinic.
Using social media as a key storytelling tool
The strategy, as with all our projects, was to use social media, traditional media, digital ambassadors, stunning content and creative storytelling as force multipliers.
Each one feeding and fuelling the other to ensure the project reached as wide an audience as possible and drive donations from both traditional and digital media.
Celebrities such as Stephen Fry and Zoe Wannamaker shared the films across social media and our influencer outreach strategy resulted in over 1,500 blogs.
Our influencer outreach resulted in over 1,500 blogs.
The results were sensational. With media coverage reaching over 32million people the project raised £10million – smashing all expectations.