Immunity Charm: tradition & storytelling that saves lives

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How can a concept win Cannes Lions Health Grand Prix for Good, the most awards ever at Lions Health—four gold Lions, four silvers and one bronze, at D&AD Impact, and now the Goodvertising Grand Prix at Cristal Festival?

“The Immunity Charm,” is an initiative from Afghanistan’s Ministry of Health, with McCann Health and McCann Worldgroup Partner that tackles a huge issue.

Afghanistan faces the world’s worst infant mortality rate: about 115 of every 1,000 children die largely from a lack of proper vaccinations against disease, which in part stems from the stigma against immunisation.

Challenging this bias, the beaded bracelet is a play on the charm bracelets that traditionally protect Afghan newborns from evil forces. Each bead is colour coded according to vaccination, giving doctors at-a-glance information about their medical history in a place with poor access to medical records.

The campaign’s connection with traditional practises gives it a storytelling stickiness that is likely to sustain many generations.


Nearly 1000 kids were enrolled when it started in March, and still continue with the bracelet.” Plans are being developed to test for effectiveness through a series of studies in Afghanistan, India, and other countries.






Thomas Kolster

Mr. Goodvertising, Speaker, Author, Inspirational Leader and Critic – a man on a mission advocating for the power of communication as a driver of sustainable change