Modern Marketing Brand Purpose The Drum Awards For Social Purpose

The Drum Awards for Social Purpose winners revealed – see 2021's difference-making campaigns

By Eleanor Lim | Event Producer

December 8, 2021 | 11 min read

At The Drum, we believe marketing can change the world, and few things we do exemplify that more than The Drum Awards for Social Purpose. This year’s winners have now been announced, with Dentsu International for Malaria No More UK and Don’t Cry Wolf for Tangle Teezer winning the night’s top honors.


The Draw the Line Against Malaria campaign by Dentsu International features art created by Nigerian artist Láolú Senbanjo

The chair of this year’s awards was TikTok UK’s social editor Nina Danjuma, who was seeking a campaign with "courage" to bestow with the chair's award. "The courage to go against the grain, do the unexpected, the courage to show up for the communities we represent, the courage to walk in someone else’s uncomfortable shoes. It takes all the courage to tell a story that seems new but is so old and true.”

And to her that courage was evident in the campaign from Don’t Cry Wolf, which retold some classic fairytales for Tangle Teezer, helping to establish the brand as an ally to people with Black and Afro hair. “This community has been fighting for so long to be heard and valued,” said Danjuma, praising the Hairytales project for its storytelling and the way it redefined ‘normal’ hair. “It’s a story about living as yourself and the weird and wonderful quirks that come with that.”

Speaking of the high standard of work submitted, she said the best work proved everyone in the agency is interdependent. “The entries this year have been remarkable, and they prove that we cannot do anything alone. We are truly in this together.”

The Grand Prix went to Dentsu International, and its not-for-profit campaign for grassroots project Malaria No More reminding African governments of their commitment to eradicating malaria. Danjuma describes the night’s big winner as an “incredible example of shooting for the stars,” adding that “it dared to be bold and brave, and sometimes that’s all you need – a team to just say, ‘fuck it, let’s go big or go home.’”

To learn more about the Chair’s Award, the Grand Prix and some of the night’s other winners, read on. You can also catch up on the ceremony below if you missed it, and head to to read the winning case studies from The Drum Awards for Social Purpose.

The Drum Awards for Social Purpose 2021 from The Drum on Vimeo.

Grand Prix, Campaign of the Year (not for profit)

Agency: Dentsu International

Client: Malaria No More UK

Campaign: Draw the Line Against Malaria


Malaria is the world’s deadliest disease – over 500 million people a year die from it. But it is both preventable and curable. Frustrated by the lack of progress, despite pledges to halve cases by 2023, this campaign set out to put public pressure on regional heads of state.

The African continent has the world’s youngest population, with 60% under the age of 25, and the region’s youth has grown up without hope in a malaria-free future. They find it hard to relate to the NGO-led campaigns of the past, which take a western perspective and an outside-in approach. But African artists, musicians, designers and celebrities are an influential force on the global zeitgeist, so this project put them at its heart.

Draw the Line Against Malaria is a movement ‘led by the generation that will end malaria.’ In partnership with Nigerian artist, activist and lawyer Láolú Sebanjo, the team created ‘Muundo.’ This modern celebration of Africa’s oldest art form became a modular digital platform that allowed people from all over the world to add their own line to a crowdsourced piece of art; a collective call to end malaria.

Over 100 global Dentsu volunteers worked with Malaria No More UK, raising awareness, galvanizing communities and getting the attention of world leaders. Muundo, and the accompanying films, animations and collaborations with African influencers, reached a total of 1.4bn impressions, generating 24.7m engagements. Through policy discussions and action from governments and NGOs, Commonwealth leaders reaffirmed their commitment to halving malaria by 2023 and ending it by 2030.

Read the full case study here.

Chair’s Award, Best PR Campaign, Campaign of the Year (for profit)

Agency: Don’t Cry Wolf

Client: Tangle Teezer

Campaign: HairyTales

This was Tangle Teezer’s first activist campaign, born from social listening: while the brand was never specifically aimed at people of color, it is considered one of the best products for detangling Black hair. This represented an opportunity, but the brand was founded, and is mostly run by, a white team, so it was important to approach the campaign with care.

The brand briefed its global agency team to develop a campaign that would give it an authentic reason to talk to Black men and women and the natural hair community, celebrate their hair and improve representation in the beauty industry. In other words, be a strong ally.

Further analysis revealed that Tangle Teezer’s fans were avid readers: books and literature was their fifth most talked-about subject. Knowing that negative hair experiences start long before adults purchase products such as Tangle Teezer, the team decided to reach Black boys and girls at storytime.

Working with Black creatives, writers, directors and producers, the team created ‘Hairytales.’ These were hairy twists on classic fairytales, rewritten and led by Black characters. Profits went to the charity Pretty Brown Girl. Tangle Teezer published its first diversity pledge, affirming that 60% of all influencer partnerships be with people of color, and signed up to the Halo Code, a pledge to tackle hair discrimination at work. The campaign wildly outperformed Tangle Teezer’s expectations of engagement, and established the brand as a loyal and effective ally.

Read the full case study here.

Best Video Campaign

Agency: Adam&Eve DDB

Client: Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity

Campaign: Home for Christmas

The Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) Charity wanted to drive donations and remind people of the important work it does, but had less than £30,000 to spend on a film. Tapping into the desire we all felt in 2020 to spend Christmas with loved ones, this campaign created a link between essential fundraising and children getting home from hospital for the holidays.

The emotive animated film tells a story inspired by GOSH patient Mia, who was discharged in time to be home on Christmas Eve. Illustrated and animated using a 2D digital layer technique, based on photo collages of real people and locations, it evoked the feeling of a children’s book. The campaign generated 46 pieces of media coverage, boosted brand metrics to record heights and helped the charity smash its overall income target by 22%.

Nick Radmore, deputy director of brand and content, hospital and charity at GOSH, described this as the charity’s “most successful and most integrated Christmas campaign ever.” He added: “We couldn’t be prouder. This money will help the staff at GOSH to continue their amazing work getting children and young people home in time for Christmas.”

Read the full case study here.

Best Digital Campaign

Agency: HavasPlus

Client: TIM Brazil

Campaign: The Awareness Keyboard: Detecting Racism One Keyboard at a Time

TIM Brazil is the Brazilian subsidiary of Telcom Italia, an Italian telecommunications company. Race relations in Brazil are plagued by a dark past that includes slavery. That history continues to be reflected today, with popular expressions still in use that have racist origins.

The team noticed that people were asking for help identifying alternatives to racist terms, so it decided to start a relevant discussion about racism that would also position TIM as an activist brand. It developed the ‘Conscious Keyboard,’ an app that whenever someone types a racist term corrects and explains why using it is problematic. Beyond just correcting their language, the project sought to educate people.

The app launched on Black Awareness Day, which is observed annually in Brazil, celebrating the Black community and their great worth and contribution to the nation. Shared, owned and earned media came into play, as well as a social campaign with the support of a dozen Black Brazilian influencers. The app was ranked among Brazil’s ten most-downloaded apps, with almost 20m downloads.

Read the full case study here.

Best Response to Change

Agency: Pic PR

Client: CHD Living

Campaign: Adopt-A-Grandparent


Designed to pair isolated care residents suffering from loneliness with volunteers from across the globe, this campaign set out to create positive connections during the pandemic at a time when people needed them most. Its goal was to provide emotional support through meaningful relationships: intergenerational friendships, connecting people with similar interests or simply the joy of interacting with someone new.

It also hoped to introduce the wider world to those living in care, showcasing some of the many characters who live in care settings and sharing their stories. More than 82,000 volunteers signed up, from countries as diverse as Canada, Germany, Thailand and Dubai. Even celebrities and Hollywood actors signed up, including Australian actress Ruby Rose – who is now Adopt-A-Grandparent’s official patron.

The global PR campaign achieved more than 1,200 pieces of press coverage. CHD Living’s website traffic increased by 6,306%, seeing more than 171,000 unique visitors and boosting CHD Living’s Care Quality Commission rating. The ages of those who signed up ranged from one to 85 years old – bringing adopted grandparents and grandchildren a valuable new friend.

Read the full case study here.

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