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Mobilizing Global Solidarity in a Pandemic – Supporting the WHO’s COVID-19 Response

Table of Contents

Challenge

In the face of the rapidly escalating COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) needed immediate and widespread support for its global response efforts. The challenge was to galvanize public understanding, drive donations, and position the UN Foundation at the heart of this unprecedented endeavor – all within a limited timeframe and budget.

Our Approach

Our agency recognized the urgency and adopted a three-pronged strategy:

  1. Speed & Flexibility: We prioritized agility, adapting tactics to the evolving situation.
  2. Diverse Partnerships: We leveraged existing UN relationships and built new partnerships to maximize reach and engagement.
  3. Omnichannel Optimization: We orchestrated a seamless campaign across owned, earned, and donated media channels.

Campaign Execution

Phase 1: Building a Foundation (2 Weeks):

  • Owned Media: A user-friendly donation website was designed with clear messaging: “Everyone everywhere is at risk, and everyone everywhere can play their part.”
  • Securing Matching Campaigns: Partnerships with Facebook and Google secured over $15 million in matching donations, boosting the launch narrative.
  • Leveraging UN Relationships: We secured WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to launch the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund at a global press briefing, garnering significant earned media coverage.

Phase 2: Scaling Up (Ongoing):

  • Donated Media: With limited budget for paid advertising, we secured millions of dollars’ worth of donated ad space from prominent media and tech platforms.
  • Partner Activation: We engaged a diverse range of partners – corporations, influencers, and citizen networks – to create localized activations for their audiences, amplifying reach and impact.
  • Messaging Adaptability: We adapted core messaging to “Five Ways You Can Stop the Spread” based on market research, encouraging broader partner participation.

Results

The campaign achieved remarkable success:

  • Financial Impact: Within six weeks, the Fund surpassed $200 million from over 500,000 donors and 150 companies. It remains the biggest single contributor to WHO’s COVID-19 response.
  • Global Reach: Earned media reach reached hundreds of millions, while billions saw content through donated ad space.
  • Influencer Engagement: Partnerships with top influencers like Rita Ora and platforms like TikTok expanded reach to an estimated 1.3 billion people.
  • Social Media Engagement: Our social media content saw exceptional engagement rates, exceeding industry benchmarks by a significant margin.

Conclusion

This campaign demonstrates the power of a well-executed, multi-channel approach in a crisis situation. By prioritizing speed, flexibility, and strategic partnerships, we were able to mobilize global solidarity and raise critical funds for the WHO’s vital response efforts.

Independent Consultant: This project included valuable contributions from Twelvenets CEO, Emmanuel Nyame, who served as an independent consultant.

Media

Campaign Involving Twelvenets CEO, Emmanuel Nyame and Changemakers

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