Campaign shows agencies the need for organ ‘Doners’

DonerNorth is playing with its name and hyper-specific advertising references to draw attention to a serious issue.

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In the ad industry, Doner is a name associated with car ads, but its new Canadian office wants people to associate it with organ donation, too.

DonerNorth is drawing attention to both its new identity and a good cause via “Organ DonerNorth,” a talent scouting effort “hiring” for organs using jargon the industry is familiar with.

With sentiments like “art directors, your good eyes can be used for more than ‘making it pop’” the campaign began on LinkedIn as part of Canada’s “National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week,” linking to government sites that call attention to the importance of organ donation.

The campaign is also taking over social media, with DonerNorth’s Instagram handle changing to “@organdoner.north,” where the agency will launch a “feed takeover” with a series of related animated social posts. The campaign will have a series of templates for pledges people can take and proudly share that they’ve signed up to be organ donors and spread further awareness.

DonerNorth was created late last year when the integrated creative expertise at Union was brought together with the shopper and commerce specialists at 6Degrees.

DonerNorth VP and group account director Raluca Kostovski tells strategy the project is something the agency has been thinking about for a couple of months. While it was looking to do something that would bring attention to the new agency and get its name on people’s lips, it also saw an opportunity to raise awareness about an important cause at the same time.

“Our name lends itself nicely to this cause,” she explains, and says it’s an open-ended campaign in terms of drawing attention. Rather than being too focused on a specific charitable organization, it’s about making it easy to sign up and be organ donors, as fewer than a quarter of Canadians actually are.

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With people under lockdowns, Kostovski is hoping people recognize it’s important to lead with empathy and do something for the greater good.

In addition to social posts that reference different trends, buzzwords and relatable moments of agency life, DonerNorth is also directly targeting local Toronto agencies with guerilla-style wild-postings placed next to agency offices. These will tote headlines like, “Grey, we need your anatomy,” and “make sure your organs go to a future Fixed Address,” to ramp up their peers’ efforts in a not-so-subtle nudge.

“It’s a hyper targeted approach, given the context and our audience,” she says, and that this makes the most sense as people are gradually returning to physical offices.