Award Category

Initiative Media

HeartKids Australia


The single biggest cause of death for children under one in Australia is heart disease. HeartKids receives no government funding and relies heavily on donations. The main fundraising initiative for HeartKids is Sweetheart Day, which on Valentine’s Day encourages people to donate what they would spent on gifts to the charity instead. For 2016, the charity signed on Shane Jacobson as an ambassador, but two months out from the day had no media strategy to spread the word. After UnLtd connected Initiative to HeartKids, the agency aimed to make the latest iteration of the campaign its biggest yet.


Initiative’s strategy was to use HeartKid’s celebrity ambassador to drive awareness by building a screen presence across digital, social video, digital OOH and mobile. For added relevance, a trial of screens in doctors' surgeries was included. Incremental reach and frequency was built through radio, press and print in the lead up, along with music−streaming sites to target new audiences. Initiative also built awareness online, with a rich media format ad featuring a heart that expanded to reveal video content. Producing the campaign meant Initiative had to redistribute workflow to be able to develop the project as part of its daily operation, not just in its spare time. There was a six−strong staff directly working on the campaign, but it required a further 10 people to absorb day to day tasks. The agency's six staff (or 15% of the agency) committed 121 hours of head time or $30,000 in head hours. In addition, $754,000 in free media space was negotiated. Furthermore, the agency wanted to help the cause itself. It launched an in−office fundraiser — HeartKids Office Cupid — allowing anyone to send chocolate or baked goods along as an anonymous message to their colleague crush.


A 111% increase in year−on−year donations — an increase of $143,000. In addition, the work allowed the charity to maintain awareness on a fraction of a budget. Social media metrics were also successful, with HeartKids increasing its social following, with Facebook fans rising by 33% to 9300.

Judges Comments

“The Initiative undertaken to support Heart kids showed innovation an idea with internal commitment and delivered great results with a direct and positive impact on 2000 families. It was clearly part of the agencies fabric .”