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JWT South Africa and Secret Santa fight hunger with a festive season campaign

30 November, 2016

JWT South Africa - FoodForward

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA — J. Walter Thompson South Africa has created an insightful festive season fundraising campaign for its client FoodForward SA, a not-for-profit organisation that seeks to help the more than 14 million people who go hungry in South Africa every day.

Sky-rocketing food prices and high unemployment numbers have seen an increase in malnutrition and in many cases starvation, making the need for donor organisations like FoodForward SA even greater than before. Last year alone, FoodForward SA distributed 3 350 tons of food and they currently feed 250 000 people daily.

Their brand new campaign cleverly turns an existing end-of-year gift giving tradition called Secret Santa to its advantage by giving people the option of donating to FoodForward SA and receiving a festive card to give in place of the usual Secret Santa gift (which most will testify is not something they want or need).

When asked about the campaign, FoodForward SA Managing Director, Andy Du Plessis said, “Over the festive season we historically see a drop in donations. So when presented with the idea we immediately recognised the significance of the thinking and its potential to raise contributions over the period. And with our operational model extracting R13.87 of food value for every R1 donated any additional contribution adds enormous value.”

Commenting on the idea, Paul Strappini, Executive Creative Director at J. Walter Thompson South Africa said, “The campaign developed from research which revealed that financial constraints were impacting on donations for not-for-profits across the country. People simply had less money to give. This led to our insight around Secret Santa - a tradition that has most people wasting money on silly gifts. So we tapped into this behaviour with a strategically led creative execution that worked to the benefit of FoodForward SA.”

For a R35 donation, the cards can be purchased at, with printed versions going on display at participating corporates and available for purchase via SnapScan.

Speaking about the impact of the work, Paul Grater, Managing Director at J. Walter Thompson South Africa, said, “As an agency we strive to make communication that makes a difference. This is a powerful idea driven by a simple insight. It has the potential to become an ongoing donation stream year on year, which is just fantastic for FoodForward SA and obviously for the millions who they support.”

To make a donation visit, or if you live in South Africa make your Secret Santa gift a festive card from FoodForward SA.


Philippa Clayre
T +961 1 973030                                         
T +961 70 974 261

J. Walter Thompson Company was founded in 1864 and has been making pioneering solutions that build enduring brands and business for more than 150 years. Today the company has evolved to include several global networks including J. Walter Thompson Worldwide, Mirum and Colloquial. 

In the Middle East and Africa, J. Walter Thompson is one of the leading communication agencies in the region with 27 offices in 24 markets. The MEA region is structured to deliver communication based business solutions across all channels needed to successfully deliver the marketing plan. For more information, please visit us and follow us @jwtmea

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