PRWeek Global Awards Winners 2021 - Non-profit

The winner in the Non-profit category is The Last Older Person to Die in Loneliness, by LLYC for BBK.

PRWeek Global Awards Winners 2021 - Non-profit

Spain has the second highest life expectancy in the world, but more than two million of its older residents live in unwanted isolation.

Visit the PRWeek Global Awards hub to find out more about the winners

However, media and societal interest in what has become a taboo topic generally only picks up when an older person is ‘discovered’, potentially after months of abandonment.

To encourage more visibility of the issue BBK Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the bank BBK, tasked LLYC with drawing attention to the issue. The Madrid-headquartered agency commissioned a detailed, life-sized sculpture of Mercedes, herself an isolated 89-year-old from Bilbao, in Spain’s Basque Country region. The artwork, in which Mercedes is sat on a bench in her home city, head bowed, encapsulates LLYC’s concept of being “fallecida en soledad” - meaning dead through loneliness, or deceased alone.

A press launch featuring Mercedes and her statue, a month before Christmas 2019 drew coverage in more than 300 media outlets, reaching an audience of more than 83 million. Even more powerful than that, the result of the media campaign was a 45% increase in people volunteering in relevant programmes through the BBK Foundation, and discussion by politicians of new policies to help lonely older people. And most importantly, Mercedes was reunited with a niece she didn’t know she had, and is lonely no more.

Judge's comment:

“An exceptional campaign - beautifully simple but smart - which drove real engagement with the public, and impressive results with an increase in volunteers and raising awareness of loneliness.”

Highly commended

Arresting the Spread of Covid in Asia’s Largest Slum by Weber Shandwick India for The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Teaming with local hip-hop collective Gully Gang may seem an unconventional approach to tackling Covid-19 in Mumbai’s enormous Dharavi. But tapping into widespread appreciation for the underground music scene, a multi-lingual rap was highly effective in conveying responsible behaviours, such as mask wearing, in an area where social distancing was impossible. The campaign got more than 5.8m impressions across all media channels, becoming an important tool for spreading vital information across India.


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