Thailand's 'Masks for Smiles' Campaign Raises Awareness, but Not About Covid

BBDO helps kids with cleft lips and palates

"When you wear a mask, you not only protect yourself, but you help protect and save others," says Thai actress Taya Rogers in a new campaign from BBDO Bangkok for Operation Smile Thailand.

At first, the appeal may sound like a Covid-19 PSA, but there's a twist, as you'll see in this short film:

Operation Smile Thailand | Masks for Smiles

"A mask can't save everyone," Rogers continues, strapping on a stylized face covering designed by pop artist Gongkan. "Children with cleft lips and palates have the best chance of survival when they get corrective surgery within the first year of their lives."

Led by BBDO Bangkok creative chief Suthisak Sucharittanonta, the campaign breaks today—World Smile Day—and aims to raise funds and awareness.

Rogers also appears in print executions:

With masks already a familiar health accoutrement in Asia—even more so in the time of Covid—the team believed they would serve as powerful campaign symbols.

"We produced 30 masks and gave them to smile ambassadors, actors, actresses and celebrities to wear and take selfies for their social posts," Sucharittanonta says.

Here are some examples featuring local celebrities:

About one in every 700 children is born with a cleft lip or a cleft palate, and some have both. In Thailand, approximately 2,000 babies are born with a cleft lip or palate each year.
 
BBDO Bangkok has long supported the cause. The agency's notable work includes "The Painted Smile" from a few years back, with efforts designed to tie in with popular culture and generate maximum media attention.

CREDITS

Mask Credits:

Face mask design: Gongkan
Face mask production design: Nawaviara

Video Credits:

Client: Operation Smile Thailand
Production company: Flare Studio Bangkok (BBDO)
Director: Suthisak Sucharittanonta
Asst Director: Kusuma Ruchakityanon
DOP/Editor: Jom Pimolthai
Producer: Toungrak Chiravatanarungsri
Artist/Illustrator: Gongkan
Masks designer: Nawaviara
Make up/Hair stylist: Prapapan Klakitkan
Music score: www.varnmusic.com

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David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is senior editor at Clio Awards.

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