Thinkboxes July/August 2010 Winner: WaterAid’s 'Diarrhoea' by Kitcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw

WaterAid’s powerful ‘Dig toilets, not graves’ TV spot, aimed at 35- to 50-year-old professionals to persuade them to regularly donate and petition the government to help improve sanitation in the developing world, subverted the playground song Diarrhoea.

The first part of the ad, created by Kitcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw and shot at a UK primary school, shows children giggling as they sing lines such as: ‘When it comes out your bum like a bullet from a gun, diarrhoea, diarrhoea…’

The ad then cuts to a child in Zambia, who concludes in sombre fashion, with: ‘When it’s just killed your sister and you’re really going to miss her, diarrhoea, diarrhoea.’

The ad was part of a wider campaign to show how the provision of pit toilets can help stop the spread of diarrhoea, which kills 4000 children a day in developing countries.


We wanted a bold campaign to reach new audiences and force people to take notice. This is a massive issue, yet we rarely hear about it. We demonstrated how something that is just an embarrassment in the UK results in easily preventable deaths throughout the world. The ad’s mix of humour and real pathos achieved this cut-through.

Amy Faulkner Supporter Recruitment Team Manager, WaterAid

Client Amy Faulkner, WaterAid; Ad agency Kitcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw; Creative team Kate Flather, Guy Patrick; Production Kream; Director Susannah Hayes

Other ads on the podium

Foster's Girlfriend's Mum (2nd)

  • Creative agency adam&eveDDB
  • Creative team Ben Priest, Sidney Rogers, Harry Bugden
  • Client Gayle Harrison
  • Production company Hungry Man
  • Director Tim Bullock

LG The Young And The Connected (3rd)

  • Creative agency RKCR/Y&R
  • Creative team Nicola Hawes, Andy Forrest
  • Client Paul Trueman
  • Production companies Rogue Films, Station Film
  • Director Sam Cadman

Also shortlisted

Bulmers Summer HQ

  • Creative agency St Luke’s
  • Creative Al Young;
  • Client Fiona Kennie
  • Production company Coy!
  • Director Mark Denton

Wall's Bring It On, Battle Re-enactment

  • Creative agency Saatchi & Saatchi
  • Creative Kate Stanners
  • Client Phil Chapman
  • Production company Smuggler
  • Director Joshua Neale

A view from a Thinkbox Academy member on this month's picks

Will Awdry

Strikes me that telly ads can still be the most powerful connector, provided all involved have worked hard for the money.

Will Awdry Creative Partner, Ogilvy & Mather

Click here to see who won the previous award

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