A historically effective campaign

Agendasetting for SOS-barnebyer 2014

“Litte Boy Freezing” is the Norwegian campaign with the highest number of views ever. With its global success on a strictly limited budget, the campaign is also unique on an international scale.

The challenge

In winter 2014, several organisations had attempted to engage the public in the critical situation in Syria, however, diminishing media interest made this a difficult task. SOS Children’s Villages Norway initiated a fundraising campaign to collect funds for Syria’s many freezing children, through a new system for donations via text message. Each donation of NOK 90 would give a freezing child a warm jacket.

The idea

Släger wanted to recreate the Syrian crisis here in at home to bring the issue closer to people, and to raise awareness of the donor role and the specific difference that their contributions would make. Inspired by H.C. Andersen’s “Little Match Girl”, Släger wanted to place a freezing boy on our doorstep and use a hidden camera to capture the honest reactions of passers-by.

The solution

By seating an apparently freezing boy on a suitably busy bus stop bench and using a hidden camera to capture the reactions of passers-by, we created a symphony of people who were presented with a problem that could be resolved through human compassion.A systematic plan for spreading the campaign ensured effective coverage in selected national and international media.


  • “The Freezing Boy” is the most-shared commercial video in Norway ever, with 500,000 shares on Facebook and more than 25 million views on YouTube.

  • As many as 26,000 people responded to the campaign with donations. More than NOK 2.3 million was donated, resulting in 26,000 jackets.

  • Membership in the SOS MAYDAY network grew by 1,455 per cent, from 1,800 to  28,000 people.

  • The campaign video was seen by at least 138 million people, and received media  coverage in more than 74 countries and in more than 28 different languages.

  • The campaign has potentially been shown more than 5.5 billion times around the world.

  • The campaign won the Jury´s Excellence Award for the Best Campaign at the European Excellence   Awards, competing against more than 1,600 other submissions. The campaign also  achieved three stars at Stella 2015 and won the “Pan-European Campaign” award at the European SABRE Awards in 2015.