We operated the White Band Project in 2005 in Japan, in connection with the globally known Make Poverty History campaign. The message that a child dies every 3 seconds due to poverty, had a huge impact and touched people’s hearts. Many people purchased “White Bands” to show their support of this campaign, and nearly 4 million bands were sold. It became a big movement.
The purpose of this campaign was to stress the importance of aggressive action to reduce worldwide poverty at the G8 summit on July 6th, 2005. At the LIVE8 concerts held before the summit, participants wore their white bands as a show of united protest against poverty. Famous artists and athletes also appeared on TV commercials, creating a huge buzz. However, we also received some negative comments as it was not clearly explained that the profits from the white bands would not be going to charity. On the other hand, the increase of the ODA budget was decided at the G8 Summit, and Prime Minister Koizumi promised to double the ODA budget for Africa for the next 3 years at the UN World summit in September. This project was recognized as having a large influence on political decisions.
What we did
We started this project in mid May 2005, after being impressed with the White Band activity in the UK. We came to find out that the Japanese NGO supporting this campaign might not be able to provide enough white bands at the LIVE8 event, the highlight of the campaign. Sunny Side Up decided to seriously join in the campaign by using our knowledge to help solve the issue of world poverty. While handling the production and distribution of the white bands, we were also responsible for communication marketing, including the production of the Japanese version of a commercial film and organization of the live performance and related PR events.