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UPDATE: BMDP looks to draw in donors from the Malay and Indian communities

UM Singapore has launched a philanthropic campaign called UM Gives Back.

The media agency is engaging its partners in the out-of-home, digital media and programmatic realm to donate free advertising space for the Bone Marrow Donor Programme (BMDP) – a Singapore based charity.

Over the six-week campaign period, which runs from 24 August to 4 October, UM Singapore will partner with outdoor media companies Clear Channel, MediaCorp and Moove Media; digital partner MSN; as well as employ its own programmatic media capabilities via Cadreon, to raise awareness and rally youths to register as bone marrow donors.

Working closely with creative partners at Blak Labs, UM approached its key media partners, asking them to participate in the campaign by freeing up media space that support BMDP’s philanthropic cause. Four creatives developed by Blak Labs will be featured island-wide across more than 30 locations in key youth-centric hotspots such as bars; eateries; sports and recreation centres; places of worship; convenience stores; bus interchanges; MRT stations; shopping malls; universities; polytechnics amongst others.


Most recently, the Bone Marrow Donor Programme (BMDP) also worked with Blak Labs to build an integrated recruitment campaign to sign up new donors.  The campaign called “#Match4Life” launched across digital, outdoor and social channels just in time for the inaugural World Marrow Donor Day on September 19.

At the heart of the campaign is an exhibition at 313@Orchard as well supplementary street team activities to drive awareness and donor recruitment. Featuring past recipients of bone marrow donations, as well as young donors from the Malay, Indian and Chinese community, the exhibition content shows how the act of becoming a donor matches two complete strangers in a life-saving bond.

“It’s a huge issue as six people in Singapore are diagnosed with a blood cancer such as lymphoma or leukaemia every single day. For many of these patients a transplant is their only chance of survival which is why we urgently need more people to sign up and join the register,”  Jane Prior, CEO of Singapore’s Bone Marrow Donor Programme said.

Prior added: “We’re working hard to attract new donors from both the Malay and Indian communities. These communities are hampered by their small size and faith issues, which have prevented donations in the past. We have a fatwa from the MUIS (Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura) that gives every Muslim permission to step up and help their fellow man or woman. Plus we have the amazing stories from Farhan and Shalini, who both overcame family and social pressure to make their donations.”

The campaign is the first phase in the BMDP’s drive to grow the registry by 50,000 new donors over the next three years, but it faces a number of challenges. Amongst these, Prior cites misconceptions around donation methods, loss of virility and faith as being the hardest to overcome.

To create the content, Blak Labs taped a series of interviews with survivors and donors to get their experiences straight from the heart.

Partnering with MSN, Singapore’s popular digital media channel, UM will launch homepage takeovers that raise awareness about BMDP. Next, implementing targeting technology of its programmatic media, Cadreon, UM will aim to drive donor registrations for BMDP.

“We’d like to take this opportunity to thank the team at UM. They’ve done a fantastic job of securing media sponsorship worth S$120,000 across multiple channels and media owners. The guys at Crimson Works have also worked hard to help us simplify the registration process. Now it’s easier for potential donors to sign up. And with Salesforce support, it’s faster for BMDP to get their swab kits out to potential donors. The support from the guys at The Reel Thing and Tangography has been amazing.”

Pat Lim, managing director for UM Singapore, said: “At UM Singapore, we are committed to making a difference to the society we live in. By using our strongest assets, the strength of our network and expertise in managing media, we were able to bring attention to worthy causes such as BMDP.”

“We are proud to be a part of BMDP’s cause and grateful to our creative and digital media partners, and media vendors who have contributed to this campaign. It shows that when the industry works together it has the power to deliver a positive impact in the society,” Lim added.


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