On World Thalassemia Day, The Wishing Factory launched a campaign called ‘#AadhiwaliZindagiMitao, Thalassemia test karao’
The Wishing Factory is an NGO for Thalassemia awareness and patient support. It’s founded by Partth Thakur, a 26 year old change agent and himself a Thalassemia Major patient. For many years he has been trying to spread awareness about the disorder. He has found some support but not to the extent that fighting this disorder, needs. So when Kunal Kapoor (actor and social entrepreneur) introduced Partth to the creative agency - Siriti , the focus was to work together to come up with a campaign that would change the face of Thalassemia awareness.
On 8th May, World Thalassemia Day, The Wishing Factory launched a campaign called ‘#AadhiwaliZindagiMitao, Thalassemia test karao’ which was created by Siriti. It's a lesser known fact that many Thalassemia Major patients have reduced life expectancy and live almost half the life that most get to live. However, this can be prevented if the couple gets tested before marriage or before planning a child. This campaign urges everyone to post their half-face photo on social media and then tag and nominate 3 of their friends to spread the awareness. The intent was to make these half-face posts remind everyone to get tested and not give their future child - half a life. This was the central idea that helped shape the campaign.
Kunal Kapoor, Sonakshi Sinha and Huma Qureshi were some of the early supporters of this campaign, which has caught on. Joined almost immediately by the likes of Hrithik Roshan, Abhishek Bachchan, Ayushman Khurana, Raj Kumar Rao and many other big icons from the film and television world. It has managed to reach almost 70 million people, through over 2300 half – face posts and The Wishing Factory helpline has got more calls within week of this campaign, then it had got over the past 12 months before that.
"Most of the mindshare and CSR support goes to the more commonly known diseases and causes. However genetic disorders like Thalassemia Major can be as devastating as any disease. So it's been encouraging to that the #AadhiwaliZindagiMitao initiative has really taken off. The idea has really worked and is it helping us reach so many people. We are hoping that the momentum continues and that this disturbing reality of ‘half a life’ drives people to testing" says Parrth Thakur.
Sohan Shah, Strategy Head and co-founder of Siriti, the agency that has created this campaign adds "Partth has been an inspiration since the first day we met him through Kunal. When he explained the challenges involved in spreading Thalassemia awareness, it became clear to us that such a complicated issue needed a simple yet disruptive idea to get people to connect with it. Our '#AadhiwaliZindagiMitao, Thalassemia test karao' campaign is an outcome of this focus. The iconicity of 'half-a-face' as the key visual is at the centre of the campaign’s success so far. This is just the beginning though, we will keep working with TWF, to mainstream Thalassemia testing”
Pradyumna Chauhan, Ex National Creative Director and consultant on the campaign, said: "Thalassemia, a bit like the name, is a complex disorder to communicate. So a lot of ideas were created and then subsequently rejected by us. Therefore what is satisfying in this campaign going viral, is, that we could eventually talk about it with the simplest message - the half face. Cropping the face and expressing solidarity was also a most simple act to do. Which is why, also ably and genuinely helmed by celebrities who took to this important cause, we have been able to reach tens of millions. And the small step for this big cause has just been taken. I also hope our #AadhiwaliZindagiMitao and this mission grows steadily and helps eradicate Thalassemia in the future."
"In just 36 hours, the campaign managed to generate more posts than the combined total of posts tagged #WorldThalassemiaDay in the last 7 years! Given the phenomenal response to the social media campaign, we are planning more mass media initiatives, corporate partnerships, activations and interesting collaborations with artists & musicians to continue this fight against Thalassemia over time" says Vainateya Gavai, Digital Head and Co-founder of Siriti.