Save Our Sons is a small charity for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a rare and fatal muscle degenerative disease that affects 1 in 3,500 boys. The charity had raised $1.75 million in Australia towards funding crucial clinical trials of a new treatment and wanted to approach government to provide the remaining funds needed.

The charity and disease has a limited public profile and had been unable to secure a meeting with the Australian government. To attract government attention, they first needed to gain the support of the public, a significant challenge given the disease’s low awareness.

Overview:

To raise awareness and drive action, ‘The Most Powerful Arm Ever Invented’ was created – a world first robot arm that via its online hub, TheMostPowerfulArm.com, physically signs a petition for anyone wanting to help kids with DMD. Through a simple click, Australians could see their name signed in real time in support of the cause then posted to their Facebook page to spread the message.

Execution:

As TheMostPowerfulArm.com had zero budget for bought media. PR and social media were the only promotional tools driving awareness and action. A face and spokesperson, DMD sufferer Jacob Lancaster, was appointed to bring the campaign to life, highlighted in a 6-minute video on the website. The font created for the robot arm, was taken from the last piece of handwriting Jacob created before he lost the ability to write, a Mother’s Day card, strengthening the arm’s personal message and significance.

Intensive media outreach was conducted across online and TV as top tier targets to drive immediate action, followed by print and radio outlets. To tap into highly engaged social media communities, charity’s celebrity ambassadors were asked to encourage participation and sharing.

Outcomes:

During the campaign we achieved 193 media articles with a combined coverage reach of 20+million. Across social media, there were a total of 557 posts across blogs, Twitter and Facebook reaching an audience of 3+ million.

While generating signatures was the core focus, the campaign also generated more than $24,000 in donations for the charity.

The significant media coverage and social commentary generated by the campaign attracted the attention of a number of federal MPs and we were able to secure a meeting to present the petition and table the cause. The petition has now been passed to Tanya Plibersik, Federal Minister for Health and Medical Research. She has confirmed receipt of the petition and action is now pending.