UNICEF UK: own a colour’ appeal

Exhibited by
Jonathan Andrews.
June 24, 2013
Medium of Communication
Target Audience
Type of Charity
International relief/development.
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance
September, 2011.

SOFII’s view

A brilliant idea: buy a colour and you will bring colour into the lives of children living in poverty. With 16.77 million colours to choose from, this could continue raising enormous amounts of money for many years.

Creator / originator

Concept: Simone Micheli and Rob DeCleyn.

Creation and building the of the site: Feed.

Summary / objectives

To sell the 16.77 million colours that exist in a computer display to help save children’s lives around the world, with the following objectives .

  • To create an entirely digital fundraising campaign that maintains momentum without traditional media.
  • To reach new audiences.
  • To raise unrestricted funds.
  • To raise UNICEF’s and Dulux brand awareness.


Simone Micheli and Rob DeCleyn, two creative marketers, approached UNICEF UK and Dulux (AkzoNobel) with the idea in 2011. UNICEF UK loved the simplicity of it.

The delivery of the project was run jointly by UNICEF UK and Dulux. There were many different stakeholders involved, so they guarded against moving away from the original, strong idea that inspired them.

It was launched at the Dulux ‘let’s colour’ staff conference in September 2011. Dulux marketing staff came together from all over the world to compete in selling colours.

Special characteristics

You have a choice of 16.77 million different colours and you can pay by inserting your mobile phone number. 

Influence / impact

Own a colour has raised over £110,000 so far and this campaign has helped UNICEF UK learn how they can make best use of digital fundraising.

It demonstrates how you can integrate different social media in a seamless way.


Dulux have paid for the cost of developing ‘own a colour’.



  • On the first day over £52,000 worth of donations were received and 41,633 visits were made.
  • #ownacolour and #dulux trended in Twitter in the UK.
  • Twitter reach 939,626 in 48 hours.

To date:

  • Over £110,000 raised.
  • Over 2.1 million page views.
  • Over 205,000 visits, 101,000 not in the UK.
  • Strong engagement: the average time on the site is over seven minutes and the bounce rate is a tiny 4.81 per cent.
  • There have been over 47 articles across traditional PR channels.
  • Engagement from 11 celebrities, Swansea football club and many companies – including a German firm that bought 100+ colours for staff Christmas gifts


There is very powerful link between the cause and the fundraising concept. For children growing up in poverty, with life- threatening diseases and suffering malnourishment, there is very little colour in their lives. Their world looks bleak. UNICEF works with governments and families, they build schools, train teachers, provide vaccines and food. UNICEF brings colour into their lives. You can help save a child’s life by buying a colour.

It’s a personalised fundraising campaign because I can choose my own colour from 16.77 million different colours.

Visually the website is stunning.

It makes great use of different social media. So I can visit the website on my PC, tablet, or smartphone. I can pay using my mobile phone number, then I can share about it on Facebook or Twitter.

SOFII’s Once Upon I Wish I’d Thought Of That 2013 – Jonathan Andrews presents UNICEF.

View original image
Who would have thought there were so many colours in the world? The first thousand days of every child's life are critical. Their bodies and brains are developing so they need nourishing food. But one in every four children doesn't get the food they need to grow and develop properly. And it affects them for the rest of their lives. The following photographs show how UNICEF is helping mothers all over the world to give their children the food and nutrients they need to thrive.
In Vietnam, UNICEF runs special food days where children get a health check and their mothers learn how to prepare nutritious food for them.
In Burundi, Africa, a mum breast feeds her child. Breast milk gives babies all the nutrients they need in their first six months of life.
In Mumbai, India, 11-month-old Jignesh is fed nutritious porridge by his mother.
In Burkina Faso a mother also feeds her little boy porridge during a food education day.