FCB Makes A Difference for Kids in the First 1,000 Days

FCB South Africa worked with a South African not-for-profit to publicize their mission of helping young children at their most formative time.


The first 1,000 days of a child’s life are the most crucial to his or her development. These early years form the foundation for good health and emotional well-being, yet many children in South Africa are under-stimulated and have limited access to opportunities that allow them to reach developmental milestones. Cotlands is a South African non-profit organization offering integrated early childhood development programs.

The group needed to communicate its shift from providing assistance uniquely for HIV-positive children to a broader range of programming that includes effective psychosocial and early learning and play-based development opportunities to help all young children thrive in their formative years. The charity challenged FCB to communicate this shift in purpose and attract new donors and supporters. FCB Johannesburg accepted the task to assist on a pro-bono basis. 


The strategy driving the creative concept was based on FCB South Africa's behavioral economic principles and hyperbolic discounting, which sees people placing higher value on the present rather than the future. To account for this human bias, FCB South Africa opted to draw attention to a very real present scenario – that time is running out for some babies. Using toys and stop-frame animation, the creative counted down from 1,000, while stressing how investing time, money and attention in early childhood development now will impact the future of all South Africans.


Over 220 free TV spots and 166 radio spots were donated to run the campaign. The advertisement has also been picked up by some significant marketing media including: Biz Community, SA Creative Network and Marketing Spread. The 1,000-day campaign and the broader work of Cotlands was also covered by the Daily SunSouthern Courier, The Star, Pretoria New and New Age.

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