Singapore cancer charity ad highlights that race should be no barrier to donating bone marrow

Mixed racesIndependent agency Blak Labs has created a new campaign for a Singapore cancer charity that highlights the life-saving bond between two strangers from donating bone marrow.

The #Match4Life campaign for Singapore’s Bone Marrow Donor Programme features people of varying ethnicities who have been saved by bone marrow transplants to tackle a stigma among religious communities against the practice.

In one of a series of films in which donors and recipients are interviewed, a Malay man shares what it’s like to donate bone marrow.

Another film tells the story of Stacey, a mother of two, who is saved by Shalini’s bone marrow.

A third film tells how the daughters of a man called Dave grew up with a father because a stranger saved his life.

The campaign films, which have been uploaded to BMDP’s YouTube channel, are lo-fi and unfiltered as “we want the real emotions and experiences of these remarkable survivors and the amazing donors to come through,” said Charlie Blower, co-founder of Blak Labs.

Print ads are running in support of the centrepiece of the campaign, an exhibition at 313@Somerset and street team activities to drive awareness and donor recruitment. The campaign aims to gain 50,000 new donors.


Jane Prior, CEO of Singapore’s Bone Marrow Donor Programme, said: “When we receive a request to find a match for a patient, all other treatment options have failed and at that stage it’s transplant or die. Our challenge is that there is a one in 20,000 chance of finding a matching donor.”

“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,” she added.

Prior said that the organisation was working hard to attract new donors from 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.”


  • Creative Directors: Charlie Blower, Elsa Peck
  • Art Directors: Royston Ang, Regina Lee
  • Digital Designers: Regina Lee, PeiWen Low
  • Copywriters: Charlie Blower, Elon Law, Alicia Tan
  • Producer: Ken Tam
  • Photography: Ric Tang, Tangography
  • Retouching: Evan Lim, The Rabbit Hole
  • Production: Chee Kin, Joe, The Reel Thing
  • Digital developers: Alex, Leo, Crimson Works
  • Printing: HP, digione
  • Media: UM, YiLiang, Ray Pak

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