Sightsavers Million Miracles – the charity asked to produce a live storytelling event across social media, newspapers & TV to launch their £50million flagship fundraising campaign.
32 million audience reach across television and newspapers
£10 million fundraised
Innovative live broadcast from Malawi
Google and The Telegraph as media partners
Million Miracles – Innovative live storytelling
Sightsavers commissioned us to produce a live storytelling launch event for their ambitious £50 million fundraising campaign, Sightsavers Million Miracles, to deliver 1 million cataract operations across Africa and Asia by 2019.
We wanted the storytelling to bring the audience closer to the story -enabling them to understand what life is like for somebody who has lost their 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.
Sightsavers Million Miracles – an audacious idea
Our concept for Sightsavers Million Miracles was to produce two LIVE broadcasts.
First, we would broadcast a cataract operation live from a rural hospital in Malawi, Africa.
A day later, in a second broadcast, the audience would witness LIVE the heart-stopping moment the patient’s bandages are removed and their sight is restored.
This live storytelling was designed to drive online engagement, generate media headlines and excite potential media partners.
To support the live storytelling 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.
Finding the best case study
Finding the perfect case study in Malawi to drive the live storytelling event 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.
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 as 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 32.6 millionMedia Strategy
In the week before the LIVE surgery, we produced stunning film and photography that told the back story of all the characters.
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 them and twenty million people, mostly in developing countries, living unnecessarily with blinding cataracts.
They were introduced to the health worker, Madalitso Nyangulu who travelled miles by motorbike along treacherous roads to find and refer Winesi for surgery.
And they were able to watch and meet Dr Msukaw, one of Malawi’s few trained eye surgeons, who performed the surgery live.
Fieldcraft Studios delivered The Telegraph and Google as media partners for this project.
These partnerships, in turn, enabled Sightsavers to secure UK Government match funding for the project.
Fieldcraft Studios delivered Google and The Telegraph as media partners.Strategic partners
Live Storytelling expertise
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 goal was to reach as wide an audience as possible and drive donations from both traditional and digital media.
The strategy, as with all our projects, was to use social media, traditional media, digital ambassadors, stunning content and creative storytelling together to enable the story to grow beyond the sum of its parts.
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 connected with over 1,500 bloggers who blogged about the campaign.Influencer engagement
The results were sensational. With media coverage reaching over 32million people the project raised £10million – smashing all expectations.
Sightsavers Million Miracles has won numerous awards including, ‘Best Fundraising campaign’ at the National Fundraising Awards.
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Photography by Rachel Palmer.