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By Hannah Bowler, Senior reporter

December 9, 2021 | 2 min read

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has shown the potential monetary value of social media reactions about the Afghan crisis in its latest fundraising appeal.

Created by Wunderman Thompson, the ‘React for Real’ campaign gathered data from people’s social media reactions to the Afghan withdrawal and replaced them with the amount that aid relief could have brought if it was a dollar.

Wunderman Thompson created the campaign by analyzing anonymous social media expressions from July-September 2021 and comparing them to the ICRC’s real-time needs in Afghanistan.

Inspired by the phrase, ‘If I had a dollar for every time...,’ the 60-second ad tells how 1,989,770 crying face emoji posts on #Afghancrisis could have fitted 4,974 prosthetics, and the 2,112,700 #Afghan with a heart emoji post could have healed 216,280 wounds.

“We wanted to show how powerful that collective concern could be on the lives of Afghans if we had a dollar for every social media post,” said Ewan Watson, head of campaigns, media relations and content from the ICRC.

The film has been released to encourage people to support the ICRC’s work in Afghanistan as winter sets in. Wunderman Thompson’s managing director UAE, Faysal Abdul Malak, said the urgency of the campaign meant the film had to be produced quickly and under a tight budget.

“Despite the low production costs, the team used powerful imagery and statements to make a lasting impression on the viewer,” Abdul Malak said. “We’ve proved that an emotional appeal does not always have to rely on a high spend – you just need a good idea, a passionate team and a brilliant client, all of which we have in droves.”

Wunderman Thompson Dubai worked together with teams in Sydney, Seattle, London and New York to bring this global ICRC film to life, which will be launched across 17 countries in three languages.

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