The KMSZ (Bone Marrow Donation Centre) is the biggest German university donation register that recruits stem cell donations via blood or bone marrow. Through a simple disruptive idea, we found a way to get young people interested in this serious medical topic & to convince them to donate their DNA to the national registry to help blood cancer patients to survive.
Every 15 minutes someone in Germany is diagnosed with blood cancer. Globally, over 100.000 cases are reported every year. Often a stem cell donation is their only chance for survival. For some, the chances to find a viable match are as low as winning the lottery.
Young donors (18 - 30) are statistically the best candidates due to their better health and physical condition. These donors have as much as five times the likelihood of positive matches compared to other age segments. The challenge, however, is that their willingness to donate is 48 % above the average of other age groups, but only 18 % are registered as donors.
The typical tool for a DNA test is a simple stick or swab. That’s where we saw a new way to disrupt the category that could resonate with young people and make them want to take action. By making the DNA test more playful, fun, and even delicious, we could attract an audience that had never even considered a stem cell donation before. Introducing Life Lolli: a heart shaped lollipop that provides a tasty way to collect your DNA, and an irresistible opportunity for the selfie-generation to share their good deed with the world.
The idea was launched on World Kids Cancer Day (15.02.19) thanks to the charitable help of over 100 key German influencers including gamers, musicians, comedians, fashion icons, celebrities and sports stars. Each influencer made a post/video of the Life Lolli on their tongue with the corresponding #lifelolli campaign hashtag. These posts drove traffic to lifelolli.com where people can order a Life Lolli for free. Not only can people donate their DNA to the national register, but they can also donate their picture to social media and invite their followers to get involved. This launched the #lifelolli movement – a social media mechanism that generates continual reach without any media spend.
Life Lolli completely disrupted the stem cell donation industry in Germany and because of that was voted the most effective campaign of 2019 – receiving the coveted Grand Effie. Not only has it helped the KMSZ to smash various industry standards, but far more importantly it has already saved four people‘s lives to date1 and will continue saving lives in years to come.