M&C Saatchi, Idris Elba and TouchCast Tackle Ebola with ‘Africa United’ Integrated Campaign

Ads, Creativity, CSR

M&C Saatchi London teamed up with Idris Elba and interactive video agency TouchCast, in partnership with Kyne, freuds, Green Door Pictures and RadicalMedia, have unveiled an integrated campaign for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Foundation to raise global support for health workers battling Ebola and encourage people to donate towards the fight against the disease.

Launching this week during the Official Draw for the Africa Cup of Nations football championship, the campaign will run on TV, radio and OOH in West Africa with the support of a wide range of media, sport and health organisations, while also being seeded online to reach a global audience.

The centrepiece of the campaign is a pair of short films – ‘We’ve Got Your Back’ and ‘West Africa vs. Ebola’ – created by Matt Roach and David Lawrie at M&C Saatchi, in partnership with Paul Field and Edo Segal at TouchCast. One stars the actor, Idris Elba (The Wire, Luther, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom), while the other features a number of well-known footballers of African descent, including Yaya Touré (Manchester City and Ivory Coast), Patrick Vieira (Ex-Arsenal and World Cup winner) and Carlton Cole (West Ham United).


Interactive ‘TouchCasts’ of both films will allow users to discover individual health workers’ stories, find out more about the disease and donate to the cause.

The team from M&C Saatchi and TouchCast provided the creative spark that has really brought this campaign to life. It was great working with them on this critical project (…) I am in awe of the bravery of these health workers who put their lives at risk day in day out to stop the spread of this terrible disease. My hope is that in some small way the creation of this campaign will ensure that these workers get the support they need and that the key messages are delivered to people on the ground to help them in their fight. #WeveGotYourBack. We will support you.

Idris Elba 

The campaign will be hosted on WeAreAfricaUnited.org in a number of languages including English, French, Krio and other local languages. It will also feature on TouchCast.com and be available on YouTube.

The 2014 epidemic of Ebola is the largest in history, infecting 15,000 people and taking the lives of more than 5,000 people to date. While the spread of Ebola is a threat to people, health systems and economies around the globe, West African communities in particular are being crippled by the disease as a result of already strained healthcare systems, mistrust of health workers and fear and stigmatisation of those infected.

Client: Africa United – Funded by CDC Foundation

Title/Project: ‘We’ve Got Your Back’ – Ebola PSA

  • Agency:               M&C Saatchi London / TouchCast
  • Agency Contact: Tim Duffy, Chairman at M&C Saatchi
  • Creative Directors: Matt Roach & David Lawrie at M&C Saatchi
  • Copywriter: Matt Roach
  • Art Director: David Lawrie
  • Creative Development: Paul Field & Edo Segal at TouchCast, Idris Elba, Ben Schneider at RadicalMedia, Hannah Pawlby at freuds
  • Director: Timothy Saccenti
  • Producer: Ben Schneider at RadicalMedia
  • Editor: Julia Knight at Work Post
  • Post: Electric Theatre Collective
  • Music: Alex Ball
  • Sound: Patch Rowland at Final Cut
  • Media agency: KYNE / freuds
  • Exposure (media channels): TV, Outdoor, Online
  • Africa United on Twitter: @WeAre_Au  #WeveGotYourBack

Africa United is a global team of football stars, celebrities, international health organisations and corporations committed to stopping the spread of Ebola in West Africa. Africa United provides critical education, resources and solidarity to those affected by Ebola in West Africa. Its mission is to help stop the spread of Ebola and ensure access to healthcare by: driving adherence to positive behaviour change messages, dispelling rumours and misconceptions, and instilling confidence in and acknowledging the vital role of community health workers.

Donations made in the United States to Africa United will directly support the CDC Foundation’s Global Disaster Response Fund, which is providing essential materials and assistance to advance CDC’s response to the Ebola epidemic. Donations made outside the United States to Africa United will support UNICEF, which is airlifting essential supplies, distributing vital health information and caring for children and families affected by Ebola.

Established by Congress, the CDC Foundation helps the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) do more, faster, by forging public-private partnerships to support CDC’s work 24/7 to save lives and protect people from health and safety threats. The CDC Foundation currently manages more than 250 CDC-led programs in the United States and in 73 countries around the world. The CDC Foundation’s Global Disaster Response Fund has been formally activated to support CDC’s response to the West African Ebola epidemic, and donations to the fund are providing critical assistance and supplies.