War Child


War Child is devoted to helping children affected by war. In 2014, it began to shift its focus away from directly helping children and instead focused on providing education, economic opportunity and legal representation to the mothers of those children.

War Child's donors are younger than your average charitable donor, and they're very comfortable with technology. So much so that they expect that almost anything can be made better with technology. In an era where Google can pilot a driverless car around the country without incident, what problem can't be solved with an app?

Nothing can replace the security and stability that a mother can provide for a child, especially one from a country torn apart by war. So the agency created a fictional NGO called "Surrogaid" - a charity that enabled people to remotely mother children from thousands of miles away via an internet-connected robotic interface.

Surrogaid enabled users to rock cradles, sing lullabies, even prepare casseroles for children through their laptops or mobile phones. The idea was launched with a serious promotional video featuring the founder who walked the viewers through why Surrogaid was invented and how it works. Radio and OOH promoted the NGO, as did the Facebook and Twitter feed. John St. also created a LinkedIn page for Surrogaid's founder, Erik Asher, to make it seem as legitimate as possible.

In the weeks leading up to Mother's Day, the agency aggressively promoted Surrogaid through traditional and digital means, driving viewers to surrogaid.org. Only when they completed a mandatory training module and attempted to connect to a real-live child did it reveal the idea: "What children in war-affected areas really need, are their own mothers."

Surrogaid was featured on countless domestic and international culture and tech blogs including Fast Company, PSFK, Creativity Online, The Verge, Huffington Post, Wired and the Inspiration Room. It was named site of the day on FWA and the Awwwards (the world's two leading 'best of the web' curators). And it solicited a 13% increase in online donations to War Child.