Award Category

William Berner - Mediacom

Every Word Counts


The brief was to create a bespoke fundraiser for The Pyjama Foundation’s Love of Learning program. The aim was to increase donations to $900,000 to train 5000 Pyjama Angels by the end of 2017.


Charities operate in a hugely competitive marketplace with all of them asking for donations for respective causes. The winning NGEN campaign flipped this dynamic on its head and instead of asking for money, decided to ask for words. Research found 92% of children in foster care have below−average reading skills by the time they are seven years old, meaning they know as little as 6000 words, compared to 10,000 on average. If Australians could donate 180,000 words, at $5 a word, the campaign would achieve its $900,000 goal. To capture the spirit of giving it will be launched prior to Christmas. Digital, social and outdoor elements invite people to donate words to the cause and spread the word to others in their network. There will be an online destination, the #EveryWordCounts hub, which will allow people to follow the campaign as it progresses.


The success of the campaign would stem from its originality, allowing it to stand out in a very crowded market at a busy time of the year. It also builds a story through
words, allowing the campaign to be built on each year and would help it develop a large supporter base.

Judges Comments

“The entry chosen as the winner of the 2016 NGEN MFA Awards was the most popular due to its originality and its focus on ‘words’ and the fact that children in care simply do not have the same number of words at their disposal as the general population does. It also has the ability to be carried out successfully as a campaign to raise funds for the support of children in care and to raise awareness through lever PR opportunities. It was a ‘win win’ all round.”