New Research Shows Cinema Medium’s Power to Lift Un World Food Programme Brand

Heartrending Cinema Ad from Sir John Hegarty Proves Impactful

Rome ( October 14, 2020 ) -

Following a successful global cinema campaign in 35 countries, SAWA, the Global Cinema Advertising Association and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the world’s leading humanitarian organization fighting hunger worldwide and recent recipient of the prestigious 2020 Nobel Peace Prize, now have clear data showing the positive impact of cinema on the humanitarian organization’s brand.

Two independent surveys by research companies MESH Experience and Realeyes found that the “Feed Our Future” cinema advertisement was effective in raising awareness of world hunger and establishing WFP in the minds of cinemagoers.

“With the help of partners like SAWA and the global cinema medium, the United Nations World Food Programme aims to tell the urgent and important story of the people we serve, connect with audiences and garner support for our work,” said the UN World Food Programme’s Director of Communications, Marketing and Advocacy, Corinne Woods. “Performance insights from Realeyes* and MESH Experience* allow us to confirm the impact of these partnerships as well as to inform our strategy for future campaigns.”

The minute-long global cinema ad, conceived by advertising legend Sir John Hegarty and The Garage Soho, saw higher than average emotional response according to both Realeyes and MESH Experience. The ad produced 60% more emotional engagement than any other charity ad within Realeyes’ database. MESH Experience survey results showed that up to 9% more respondents identified with the ad emotionally than industry standard. The ad’s chilling narrative opens on a scene of destruction taken straight from recent headlines where conflict and hunger are deeply intertwined. As they play in the rubble, a small chorus of children begins singing “How Can I Tell You” by Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens, before they disappear one by one, a metaphor for the harsh realities faced by the 3 million children worldwide who lose their lives to hunger or malnutrition each year.

“In a distracted, interrupted, world, Cinema provides a unique opportunity for an immersive engagement that is genuinely unique,” said Sir John Hegarty of The Garage Soho.

The same Realeyes data showed positive brand impact with Memorability Level of 91% (19.1% above norm) and Intrigue Level (wanting to know more about what is advertised in the ad) of 81% (19.7% above norm). MESH Experience research has previously shown that 43% of people are more inspired to learn more or take action by cinema advertising than online.

It has also shown the power of airing first with Cinema to help amplify the rest of the campaign; MESH proved that engaging with a brand’s messaging in-theater meant subsequently more positive experiences with that brand through other touchpoints (up to 31% boost in positivity).

Cinema proves to be a powerful tool which pulls people out of their comfort zones and heightens the impact of the ad, which ultimately gets over the hurdle of apathy towards charities, and sparks both awareness and change.

“Cinema has the ability to take the viewer from their theater seat to far-away lands, fictional regions, or, in this case, the harsh reality of war-torn countries showcasing children who are adversely affected by violence and starvation. Given how impactful the cinema medium has been year after year following our Cannes Lions premiere and session, we are confident, even amid these challenging and unprecedented times, that the survey findings have true merit” said Cheryl Wannell, CEO of SAWA.

At time when 690 million people – one in eleven, globally – still go to sleep on an empty stomach each night, the cinema medium has become a conduit for individuals to help move the world closer to eradicating hunger. Thanks to the support of the SAWA network of Global Cinema Advertising Companies, “Feed Our Future” premiered at Cannes Lions last year and on the big screen in more than 35 countries worldwide from September to November 2019. The call to action was to help keep children’s voices alive by visiting and donating to help save a child’s life. For additional information about the “Feed Our Future” campaign, and to learn how to get involved in creating a world with Zero Hunger, please visit:


Jessica Andrews (WFP, Rome)

TEL: +39 342 648 1694 | EMAIL:

Whitney Kuhn (Hill + Knowlton Strategies)

TEL: +1 210 865 2353 | EMAIL:

Cheryl Wannell (SAWA, Sydney)

TEL: +61 406 215 561 ? EMAIL:


The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies, building prosperity and supporting a sustainable future for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.


SAWA, the Global Trade Body to the Cinema Medium, builds and develops international standards and best practice for the Cinema Medium; raising the profile through research and marketing initiatives. SAWA’s ultimate aim is to improve communication between Cinema Advertising companies around the world; in turn facilitating the easier buying of the Cinema Medium for brands and agencies.  Since 2015, SAWA has supported the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and in 2018 and 2019 partnered with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to support efforts to reach SDG2: Zero Hunger.


“The Garage Soho is an early stage investor and brand builder. Sir John Hegarty, the creative founder of global advertising agency BBH, and his team at The Garage leverage their experience to increase capital for their portfolio companies. The team works closely with companies on their brand strategy, creative and often media partnerships. In this instance, Sir John wrote and creatively directed ‘Feed our Future’ utilizing his legendary skill in the communications industry to bring attention and action towards the SDG of Zero Hunger. “


MESH Experience helps clients make quicker and smarter decisions about their marketing investment.  With offices in London, New York and Sao Paulo, MESH drives client success through their proprietary Experience Driven Marketing approach and award-winning Real-time Experience Tracking methodology.  More information on the company’s notable achievements, case studies, key leadership and history can be found at

Realeyes measures human response at the speed and scale of AI. U
sing front-facing cameras on devices and with the latest in computer vision and machine learning technologies, Realeyes measures both the attention levels as well as how people feel as they watch video content online. Their platform enables brands, agencies and media companies to inform and optimize their content as well as target their videos at the right audiences. Founded in 2007, Realeyes is located in New York, London, Tokyo, and Budapest. Customers include brands such as Mars Inc, AT&T, Hershey’s and Coca-Cola, agencies Ipsos, MarketCast and Publicis, and media companies such as Warner Media and Teads.