Basic campaign facts:

  • Despite frequent media coverage general awareness about Doctors Wihtout Borders (MSF) among South Africans is low – 74% of people surveyed know a little or have not heard of MSF.
  • Awareness Campaign purpose: introduce MSF to South Africans (who are more likely to be interested - given their attributes or intersts) through a focus on MSF's institutional values, principles and encourage them to visit our website where they can explore more
  • Digital First campaign:  the campaign consists of banner adverts on news websites, Facebook, Twitter & YouTube
  • Campaign duration:  22 August to 15 December 2016
  • What's our core message?

     MSF cares about patients, principles and delivering medical humanitarian action RATHER THAN politics, obstacles and borders.

Campaign purpose/rationale - What is this campaign for?

  • Labels, designations, categories and borders divide us/humanity. Black/White, Christian/Muslim, Citizen/Refugee. Labels, affiliations and personal attributes can sometimes be used to prevent people from accessing medical care, even in crisis situations like the ones where Doctors Without Borders (MSF) teams work.
  • MSF refuses to accept this. Our teams of medical and other professional staff go and work in places where people need medical care most. They work with local healthcare workers, treating the sick and wounded, no matter who they are.
  • The decisions our teams take are based on medical need and medical ethics. No-one is refused treatment because he/she is from a particular tribe or religion or race or because he/she is on the wrong side of a national border or a conflict frontline.
  • This isn’t easy because we need to consistently explain that MSF teams are there only to provide medical care and that MSF is independent.  We resist the influence of any political or economic forces so that we can make decisions based on medical need alone.
  • We also make sure that people know that we remain neutral, talking to all actors and not judging which side is right or wrong, because taking sides would make it more difficult for us to reach patients who need our help.
  • In order to provide life-saving medical care for people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, healthcare exclusion and natural or man-made disasters (what MSF cares about), we regularly remind people that we don’t care about things like a patient’s race, religion, nationality, ideological or political affiliations.
  • These potential barriers to accessing care will not dictate to whom or how we can provide medical humanitarian assistance.
  • The campaign adverts use the slogan “we don’t care” to contrast those barriers (what we don’t care for) to MSF’s values, principles and determination to overcome this and provide medical humanitarian assistance (what we do care about).

Campaign focus/message – What are the ads/posts all about?

  • The world is a tough place. Doctors Without Borders (MSF) responds when people are left with little or no access to healthcare as a result of conflict, natural disasters, epidemics or exclusion and provides medical humanitarian assistance to people who need it – no matter their race, religion, gender or political affiliation.
  • MSF is single-minded and focused on this goal of providing healthcare to people affected by conflict and crisis. The work of everyone involved with MSF, from volunteers and office staff to teams who work in crisis situations – whether they are administrators, logisticians, water and sanitation experts or medical professionals – is focussed on enabling medical humanitarian action that saves lives and alleviates suffering.
  • The adverts in this campaign are simple, straight forward, strong statements that keep the focus on MSF’s work.
  • Our messages focus on MSF’s refusal to accept imposed barriers to accessing healthcare in crisis, reiterating that medical humanitarian action is (exclusively) what MSF does. Our messages provide examples and facts about MSF’s work.
  • Our image selection is strong, matter of fact – and as often as possible images of medical action – and intent on showing the reality. Words and images work together to demonstrate what MSF cares about.

Campaign mechanics How does it work?

  • The campaign consists of online banner adverts on websites and social media (Facebook and YouTube), as well as “promoted posts” and “promoted tweets” to reach audiences across these platforms. The aim is to reach a large number of South African social media and internet users during the four months of the campaign.
  • Each advert will link the viewer to the MSF SA website, where they can find out more about specific crisis responses MSF is engaged in, more about the organisation and information about how they can get involved with or support MSF.