Cinema: A Powerful Medium for Change

“Purpose is a key ingredient for a strong, sustainable, scalable organizational culture. It’s an unseen-yet-ever-present element that drives an organization. It can be a strategic starting point, a product or company differentiator, and an organic attractor of users and customers.

With its larger than life screens, surround sound, and a global audience of approximately 8.90 billion moviegoers, Cinema is the ultimate vehicle for reaching the highly desirable and influential movie going audience with an appeal for social change.

Additionally, Cinema is uniquely placed as the only advertising medium to have a worldwide trade organization dedicated to Cinema Advertising (SAWA), and it is the only advertising medium in the world able to effect change for good on a global scale.

Since 2015, SAWA and its Members each year have supported the United Nations Sustainable Development goals with a Global Cinema campaign in over 30 countries.

Zero Hunger and #FeedOurFuture – UN World Food Programme

Zero Hunger is the second of the 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development adopted by the 193 Countries in 2015. Worldwide, 821 million people go to bed hungry every night. Three million children die of hunger every year. Achieving Zero Hunger is possible if the people of the world unite in its support.

SAWA, the Global Cinema Advertising Association has formed a powerful partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme (UNWFP) as an important step toward generating political and social will to eradicate hunger in our lifetime. The “Feed Our Future” campaign which began in 2018 highlights the huge loss of potential to the world when children, families and communities don’t have the food and nutrition they need. Every time a child dies, our future dies with them.

The UN World Food Programme Wins 2020 Nobel Peace Prize

SAWA congratulates the UN World Food Programme on winning the prestigious 2020 Nobel Peace Prize. It has been the global Cinema medium’s honor to help raise awareness around the world of SDG #2 – ending world hunger.

Read the press release.

Digital Cinema Report interviewed SAWA’s CEO, Cheryl Wannell, regarding the part that the global Cinema medium and its associate members played in the UN World Food Programme being awarded the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize.

The UN World Food Programme Campaigns – 2018 and 2019

At the 2018 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity SAWA, in partnership with WFP, the world’s leading agency fighting hunger, launched “Feed Our Future,” WFP’s first global Business to Consumer marketing campaign aimed at inspiring a world with Zero Hunger by 2030 (SDG2).

The multi-platform Campaign was launched in September 2018. At its core lived a thought-provoking, disruptive 60-second Global Cinema advertisement conceived by Sir John Hegarty and The Garage Soho, directed by Lynn Ramsay and produced by Somesuch & Co. The ad compelled audiences to imagine the potential that is lost every time a child dies of hunger. The campaign asked viewers to help starving children by downloading the UNWFP ShareTheMeal app and donating 50 cents to save a child’s life for a day. In addition to print and social media presence, the Campaign was also supported by Facebook Messenger where viewers could interact with Miriam, the star of the Cinema ad.

Thanks to the collaboration by SAWA, the Global Cinema Advertising Association and the Global Cinema Advertising Companies, the advertisement aired pro-bono in 34 countries for an 8-week period. The two-fold activation also strategically partnered with Facebook to target a digitally savvy audience with concrete actions they could take to eradicate hunger.

Cinema’s Ability to Effect Change – 2018 Campaign Results 

Analysis of the 2018 “Feed Our Future” fully immersive campaign confirms the ability of Cinema to effect change for good on a global scale.

The Global Cinema campaign reached more than 43 million people thanks to Facebook’s Messenger integration and generated over 100 pieces of earned media globally. In the first week alone, ShareTheMeal downloads increased by 60%+, which led to an 11%+ increase in donations.

Additional stats from the “Feed Our Future” campaign include:

IN-CINEMA ONLY (the very first week)

  • + 38% New Users
  • + 60% Revenue from Users
  • Brand awareness for the UNWFP rose 40% with cinema goers


  • 4.6K BOT Traffic
  • 240+ users on average per day while World Food Programme BOT daily average is 7


  • Approximately 13 million impressions
  • Approximately 9 million people reached
  • Over 140K Likes, Comments, and Shares
  • Total of 54.4M Impressions on Social


  • 103 pieces
  • 282M impressions


  • Over 316M via broadcast and online media
  • Around 54.4M social media impressions

2019 UN World Food Programme “Feed Our Future” Campaign

Due to the overwhelming success of the 2018 global Cinema campaign, in 2019, a 60-second cinema ad directed by Nick Gordon and again conceived by Sir John Hegarty and The Garage Soho premiered at SAWA’s Seminar held at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity in June 2019.

Thanks to support by the SAWA network of Global Cinema Advertising Companies, the 2019 “Feed Our Future” ad is now featured on cinema screens in more than 35 countries around the world. The 2019 campaign is running for eight weeks, ending in November. The compelling message  includes a call to action to help keep children’s voices alive by visiting and donating to help save a child’s life. Click here to view the ad.