DEBRA’s epi­der­mol­y­sis bul­losa (EB) Ire­land aware­ness day 2014

Exhibited by
Judith Gilsenan, head of marketing and fundraising DEBRA Ireland (via Craig Linton.
March 31, 2015
Medium of Communication
Target Audience
Type of Charity
Country of Origin
Republic of Ireland
Date of first appearance
October 2014

SOFII’s view

Flag and awareness days have existed for over a century. DEBRA Ireland brought new life to their awareness week by replacing traditional stickers and badges with temporary tattoos.

The tattoos and powerful story of Claudia, who has epidermolysis bullosa (EB) attracted wide media attention and allowed DEBRA Ireland to raise over €66,000, attract nearly 500 new donors and double their Facebook following.


DEBRA International has celebrated EB Awareness Week during October for many years with varying degrees of success. However, it has never gained much media attention in Ireland or allowed patients and supporters a chance to engage in a substantial way. In 2014 DEBRA Ireland made a decision to invest time and a modest budget to create its own EB Day.

Their plan was to:

  • Tell the story of Claudia. This would help people connect with a complicated disease.
  • Make good use of the butterfly in their logo, which is DEBRA's strongest brand asset.
  • Develop a 'low effort/high volume' way to engage supporters using a self-service medium.
  • Allow easy donations by SMS.

Creator / originator

DEBRA Ireland

Special characteristics

Rather than use a traditional badge or sticker to give to supporters, DEBRA Ireland produced a temporary tattoo of their butterfly logo. This novel idea proved to be a great talking point and allowed the charity to engage with a number of key individuals.

Along with the tattoo, DEBRA Ireland also used the story of 10-year-old Claudia. Claudia and her mum shared what it is like to live with EB and the daily battles they face together.

Influence / impact

This campaign has given a boost to all of DEBRA Ireland's fundraising. For example, after the campaign participation has doubled on one of their challenge events.

The campaign was also shortlisted for a 2015 Fundraising Ireland 'National Award for Excellence in Fundraising' for the being the most innovative campaign of the year.


€11,471 plus staff time.


DEBRA planned a campaign to coincide with the awareness week and their initial objective was simply to get some media attention and cover costs. Therefore the actual results were beyond their wildest dreams.

This was achieved by securing a number of partners to support the campaign. Perhaps the most important was Insomnia Coffee - a chain of 85 coffee shops. Insomnia agreed to become the main place to distribute the tattoos. Anyone with a tattoo was given half price coffee in the shops.

The campaign also attracted wide important media support and had national radio and TV coverage. Finally, a number of celebrities got involved and wore a tattoo to support the campaign.

You can see some of the media coverage and celebrity videos at the DEBRA Ireland website:

You can read Claudia's story here:

Existing individual and corporate supporters were also mailed a tattoo and asked to take part and raise funds.

The numbers

  • Facebook likes doubled from 6,000 to 12,000.
  • A Facebook audience of 1.2 million was reached.
  • A thousand new Twitter followers.
  • Four-hundred-and-sixty-five new supporters on our database.
  • €66,849.36 in donations.


It shows a charity achieving big success on a small budget. The campaign brought together strong storytelling, corporate support, media coverage and the simple, but engaging idea of a temporary tattoo and created a big impact. Most importantly the campaign raised an impressive amount of money with a high ROI.