BBDO Bangkok, Listerine, Watsons and ‘Operation Smile Thailand’ have collaborated on a viral music video directed by Thai film director Thay Littichai and composer Boyd Kosiyabong to raise funds for Thai children who are in need of cleft surgery. Starring a new kind of band, and their name is – “The Cleft Choir”.
Each year, more than 1,000 children are born in Thailand with cleft lips and palates. Those who don’t receive proper surgery face a variety of issues, and many develop at a much slower rate. A cleft lip or palate affects your ability not only to speak but also to eat and breathe.
This raises the question, what can they do in society when something as basic as breathing becomes challenging? Listerine decided to team up with BBDO Bangkok, Watsons and ‘Operation Smile Thailand’, a non-profit organization of volunteers that helps cleft children get proper surgery, to launch a fundraising campaign that would help at least 50 children with clefts receive a proper operation by directly donating sales of Listerine from Watsons towards the cause.
While most fundraising campaigns try to create sympathy through an emotional and upsetting ad showing someone’s current situation, BBDO Bangkok took a different approach to get the public’s attention…A more joyful, full-of-life approach, helping Thais see the possibilities that await these kids after they undergo proper cleft lip and palate surgery.
After some difficult rounds of auditions, a final group of children who had already undergone cleft surgery was chosen to form “The Cleft Choir”. From children who had breathing difficulties to kids whose voices today make a whole nation smile.
BBDO Bangkok brought onboard one of the leading music composers in Thailand “Boyd Kosiyabong”, to create a special version of his all-time mega-hit song “You’re my breath”. The music video captures “The Cleft Choir” performing a special version of the song without instruments, using only their voices and their fresh breaths of air.
“It all started with a recruitment ad on TikTok asking Thais to scan the QR code at the end of a video and sing along with the Cleft Choir. We wanted anyone to take part in the music video. We then followed up with KV posters to introduce each choir member,” said Thasorn Boonyanate, Chief Creative Officer, BBDO Bangkok.
Ravi Bordia, General Manager, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health Thailand, added: “Listerine envisions a world where everyone, everywhere recognizes that a healthy mouth is an important part of a healthy self. Cleft lip and cleft palate is one of the significant ailments that we treat seriously. This campaign aims to raise awareness of this condition and encourage society into helping disadvantaged young children with cleft lip and palate so that they can live a normal, healthier life like others and become widely accepted in society. This campaign is also reflective of LISTERINE’s brand purpose, which is to inspire the world to discover the transformative impact of a healthy mouth.”
Commenting on the collaboration, Nuanphan Jayanama, Chief Operating Officer, Watsons Thailand, said “Watsons is committed to continuing its corporate social responsibility in order to grow the business in alignment with the corporate vision that gives priority to sustainable development. The company is ambitious to bring over 10,000 lively smiles to children with cleft lip and cleft palate by 2030 through support funds and contributions of around 250 million baht. We hope that the “Give a Smile” campaign will play a vital role in returning happy smiles to children with cleft lip and cleft palate so that they can stay healthy and live normal lives. The initiative is in line with the brand purpose “Put a smile on customer’s face today and tomorrow.”
Dr. Yupares Nimkarn, Chairman of the Operation Smile Thailand, said “Operation Smile Thailand would like to thank Listerine and Watsons Thailand for their continued contributions and support over the past several years. As an international non-profit medical charity organization with regional offices in 43 countries across the world, it has the commitment to providing assistance and surgeries to disadvantaged patients suffering from cleft lip and palate and other facial deformities. Therefore, we feel a great honor to receive support funds that will be used to support the costs of surgical treatment to repair cleft lip, cleft palate, and other facial deformities for underprivileged children under the Operation Smile Thailand Foundation. The campaign also profoundly helps raise awareness about the incidence of cleft lip and cleft palate in Thailand.
Thasorn Boonyanate, Chief Creative Officer, BBDO Bangkok added “It took us a month of hard work to achieve the final product, working with Thailand’s premier director, Thay Littichai from Unboxnow, and top Director of Photography, Phaklao Jiraungkoonkun, who’s behind several famous Thai films like ‘Bad Genius’ and ‘One for the road’. This is definitely our most heartfelt campaign of the year and we’re hoping to help as many kids as possible with this work.”
According to BBDO, the work has received over 30K likes, 3K shares, and 16 million views on YouTube in less than a month. 33 million minutes were spent listening.
“We set out with the goal to at least be able to cover the operation of 10,000 children with cleft lip and cleft palate by 2030, but with the viral success of the campaign so far, I’m optimistic that we’ll be able to help even more,” added Ravi Bordia, General Manager, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health Thailand.
The full version of the music video also included clips of consumers singing along to the song on TikTok.
Anyone interested in listening to this song can search Spotify, YouTube, Joox, etc for “The Cleft Choir.”
Agency Credit: BBDO Bangkok
Chief Executive Officer: Somkiat Larptanunchaiwong
Chief Creative Officer: Thasorn Boonyanate
Creative Director: Chanikarn Sitthiaree
Senior Art Director: Pattanapond Ketrathon
Senior Copywriter: Worrawan Chailert
Agency Producer: Toungrak Jiravatanarungsri
Group Business Director: Taksina Vasaruchapong
Group Account Director: Mira Komolwanich
Senior Account Executive: Pornchanok Wuttinakorn
Head of Brand and Digital Planning: Prasit Kunanuphanchai
Planner Manager: Praewpakorn Chumsai Na Ayudhaya
Production House Credit: Unboxnow
Director: Thay Littichai
Director of Photography: Phaklao Jiraungkoonkun
Editor: Jinnaphat Thammasan
Producer: Luksawan Kayee
Executive Producer: Arunwan So
Music Production: The flying Tomato Music Co.,Ltd.
Music Composer: Boyd Kosiyabong
Production House Credit: Mellow Tunes Co.,Ltd
Sound Engineer: Arthit Vongmetta, Korawat Sangtaweep, Supavit Kumkoon