Leo Burnett Taiwan tackles stigma around organ donation

In Taiwan, tradition and grief are stopping essential organ donations from being carried out, but with the assistance of a new personalised ‘voiceprint’, organ donors now have a greater chance of their final wishes being respected

More than 10,000 people in Taiwan are currently on the waiting list for an organ donation, yet between 2020 and 2022, only 1,000 of these procedures took place. This significant disparity between demand and supply comes down to two main factors: grieving family members who are too distraught to give their consent for organs to be taken from deceased relatives, and cultural beliefs that dictate that bodies should be left intact after passing. As a result, 99% of potential organ donations in the country are refused by unwilling families.

In a bid to tackle this issue, Leo Burnett Taiwan, part of Publicis Groupe Taiwan, recently launched Hear My Last Wish, a platform that provides prospective organ donors with the chance to express their desires to those closest to them after they have passed away – during what is referred to as the ‘golden 36-hour window’.

The platform allows users to record a ‘voiceprint’ to be annotated and stored at the National Health Insurance Database, managed by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, until the time of their passing. At this point, staff at the hospital, who undergo training to ensure the process is carried out smoothly, will present the recording to family members at the appropriate time.

“These very personal voiceprints resolve the biggest challenge facing organ donation in Taiwan: family consent,” explains Kevin Yang, CEO and chief creative officer at Leo Burnett Taiwan. “Hear My Last Wish is designed to help families to make an incredibly difficult decision and feel positive about giving consent. It uses creativity with respect to cultural sensitivity to transform an established system and encourage behaviour change.”

This initiative is particularly helpful for young organ donors, who are typically hesitant to show their support for the cause due to cultural taboos. However, using the voiceprint, their wishes can be expressed in a personal and intimate way, encouraging family members to respect their decision, and in turn give their own consent.

An accompanying campaign film has also been released, which follows a father played by renowned Taiwanese actor Liang Hsiu-Shen as he goes through the process of deciding to consent to his late son’s donation. After listening to his son’s voiceprint expressing his desire to help others, the father realises this is the right thing to do.

This experience seems to have been mirrored in the real world. Since the platform was incorporated into the Taiwan Ministry of Health and Welfare’s official donation regulations, Taiwan has experienced its highest ever organ donation rate, according to the agency.

Agency: Leo Burnett 
CCO: Kevin Yang
Creative Directors: Hao Tseng, Yuan Chuang
Associate Strategy Director: Jimmy Fan
Art Director: Kumi Ku, Eric Lin, Yao Song
Director: Andrea Wang