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by Coris Leachman

August 4, 2020

Unicef UK recently launched ‘Save Generation Covid’, the largest appeal in its 73-year history, to tackle the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on children and families both in the UK and globally, with help from creative agencies Impero and Open.

Save Generation Covid was conceived and created by Open, with creative agency Impero providing digital and outdoor brand communications and activations to bring the campaign to life.

The campaign launched at the beginning of May and is now live across multiple channels including TV, VOD, outdoor, radio, digital and social. Save Generation Covid combines thought-provoking messaging with striking visuals with the aim of raising vital funds to support vulnerable children in the UK and around the world.

As the coronavirus crisis continues to upend the lives of children around the world, and with the reality that an additional 6,000 children could die every day from preventable causes over the next six months as the coronavirus pandemic weakens health systems and disrupts routine services like vaccinations, Unicef UK tasked agencies Open and Impero to develop and deliver a campaign that would cut through preconceptions about the disease and land the idea that a generation of children are at risk.

Open’s response was to develop a multi-channel campaign. At its core is the idea that hunger and poverty are ‘pre-existing conditions’ that make millions of children vulnerable. Open developed the campaign ID and the hero DRTV and coordinated a sprint week with the Unicef UK team and The Kite Factory to develop DRTV, digital and mail response whilst Impero brought the brand side of the campaign to life with digital and outdoor brand activation.

All media was handled by The Kite Factory.

The brand building elements of the campaign, led by Impero, have now launched on social media, out of home and through ambassador owned-channels with high impact, emotive, fast paced and visually striking films. These include hard-hitting and thought-provoking messaging, which draw explicit comparisons between the UK’s ‘new-normal’ and the reality of some of the most vulnerable children living in other countries around the world.

One of the key threads of the Save Generation Covid brand film is: “You can’t wash your hands, if you don’t have clean water - lack of sanitation is a pre-existing condition”, which conveys the message that preventive measures against coronavirus are not always accessible to children living in countries where health systems and infrastructure have already been weakened by war, disease, hunger and poverty.

James Briggs, Co-Founder of Open, said: “We’re incredibly proud and excited by this opportunity. Coronavirus has affected us all in so many ways but, so far, its impact in the world’s poorest countries and especially on children hasn’t been a big story. Over the coming weeks and months we are determined to help Unicef UK change that. And we’re determined to give the UK public the chance to send their compassion, which has been so evident here at home recently, out into the wider world.”

Michael Scantlebury, Impero Founder and ECD, said: “This is a massively important campaign. The impact coronavirus will have when it hits developing countries is terrifying - we are working around the clock to help Unicef UK get its message out into the world and are enormously proud of the work that we have created. With this campaign, our aim is to strike a chord with our audience by relating our British coronavirus experiences with the realities of children across the globe, in far less fortunate situations.”

Sophie Gallois, Unicef UK’s Deputy Executive Director, said: “Unicef UK needed a bold, striking campaign in order to challenge a fundamental misconception: that children are not affected by coronavirus. In fact, this crisis is the biggest crisis for children since World War Two and UNICEF is having to respond across the globe.”

“Our partner agency, Open, helped create an integrated fundraising campaign around the theme “Save Generation Covid”. Impero, a new agency for us, brought a fresh creative feel for the brand digital assets, national out of home and London flyposting. We think this campaign will cut through the noise and help convince the wider public that children need their support, now more than ever.”

The coronavirus pandemic is undoubtedly the biggest crisis affecting children globally since the Second World War. Nearly 1.3 billion children are out of school and over 117 million children in 37 countries may miss out on life saving vaccination as the pandemic causes immunisation campaigns to stop. During these unprecedented times, funds are urgently needed to minimise the impact of the pandemic on children.

UNICEF is working around the clock to support children and families by supplying medical equipment and hygiene kits, developing learning resources, supporting health and social services, continuing our water and sanitation work in countries with weaker infrastructures, prevention campaigns and tackling misinformation.

Unicef UK’s Save Generation Covid appeal is supporting children and families impacted by Coronavirus across the world. Visit to donate and help #GenerationCovid.


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