Brand differentiation: Sometimes you just need an asshole.

Donate Life differentiated brand

Asshole or hero? Donate Life takes boldly different approach to organ donation.

We often talk about the importance of brands being brave and different to truly standout and that’s just what Donate Life America has done with its latest campaign.

The World’s biggest asshole dials up the courage to max and finds a new way to drive emotional engagement for organ donation.

The video tells the story Colin F Sweeney who is the ultimate asshole. But after he dies, one last action makes him a hero.

Donate Life has some hard hitting facts. 120,000 people are waiting for an organ. Each day, 22 people die waiting for an organ.

However, to appeal to millennial men, they needed to find another way to cut through. They found their difference through crude, dark humour.

“If Coleman Sweeney can be a hero, what’s your excuse? Even an asshole can save a life.”

Interestingly, the website features some of the campaign imagery but the messaging is toned down to ‘register to be a hero’.

Not for profit organisations often struggle with how bold and cheeky they can be when dealing with something very serious. However, in this case, it seems Donate Life’s gamble is really paying off.

In a matter of days the ad has received more than 1 million views and is being talked about across not just industry sites but mainstream media.

It will be interesting to see how this campaign impacts organ donation rates in the coming months and long term.


Michael Hughes

Michael is Managing Partner and Strategy Director at Truly Deeply, a brand agency with 25 years’ experience working with brands to position them for growth. His deep expertise is in unlocking the strategic power of your brand to create a differentiated, compelling and authentic brand proposition that will engage all your audiences. Michael has extensive experience working across Australia and the Middle East working with leading Australian and International organisations across just about every sector.

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