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Manda il 5X1000 a quel Paese

Turning insults into a way to raise funds for Italian NGO Mani Tese and their development projects in Kenya.

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Role: Creative director, copywriter
Client: Mani Tese
Year: 2018-2020

Italian NGO Mani Tese had a problem: while their worldwide development projects were praised for being solid and results-oriented, their communication was rather vague and unoriginal.

Photographer Matteo de Mayda and I suggested revolutionising their approach, by setting out a few strategic guidelines about what to communicate: concrete projects instead of abstract concepts; long-term goals instead of constant emergencies; complex systems instead of single issues. We also suggested they embrace a lighter, funnier tone of voice to stand out from the crowd of pietistic messaging.

The new guidelines were immediately applied to a fundraising campaign, through which Mani Tese would ask Italian taxpayers to donate 0.5% of their annual income, “5X1000”, to them when filing their returns. Instead of launching a generic campaign, we focused on one of the countries where they were invests a lot of their energy.

We spent 10 days in rural Kenya, near the town of Nakuru, meeting the beneficiaries of Mani Tese projects to do with food, education, human rights and the environment. After coming back, we set up a web page that collected all those stories, in vertical pages featuring pictures, text and short documentaries, prompting people to donate to that specific project.

To get people to visit the page, we created four social media posters. In Italian jargon, each of the headlines is a sentence commonly used as a slur, which is recontextualised when uttered by the people portrayed in the images, namely farmer Salome, teacher Jeremiah, breeder Njoroge and women’s rights advocate Dorothy.

The chosen payoff was “Manda il 5X1000 a quel Paese” (which literally translates as “Send your 5X1000 to that country”, but also means “get lost”), which also plays with the idea of turning an insult into something positive.

Photographer and creative director: Matteo de Mayda
Videomaker: Derek Howard

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