Thailand is a country known and loved for being “the land of smiles”, so spare a thought for those Thai children who are deprived the ability to share their beautiful smile to the world. Such is the case with those 2,000 children born every year in Thailand with cleft lip and cleft palate. And while this birth defect is rarely life threatening (and therefore receives little attention), its effects on the child’s physical, emotional and social well-being are severe.
Operation Smile, a global, not-for-profit medical services organization wanted to increase donations as well as the number of surgeries to cure cleft lip and palate patients.
Instead of using the usual tactics of pity, we created The Painted Smile, the world’s first painted cleft play which restored smiles and confidence to children with cleft lip and palate, a positive, whimsical and social experience that driving home the value of importance of a beaming smile to donors.
Donations increased 40% since the campaign, with a 100 dollars raised for every dollar spent. This upsurge in support lead to more than 1,000 children received cleft surgery in 2015 (+125% vs Y2014), and making a significant step in removing the taboo surrounding Cleft Lip and Palate in Thailand.