Refugees International Japan needs donations to fund its projects worldwide but collecting donations in Japan has always proven to be challenging.
The refugee crisis is seen as a distant problem and rarely makes the news. So, if Japanese people weren’t reaching out to the problem, Ogilvy Tokyo decided to bring the problem to Japan with the Refugee Collection.
Made by 100+ items donated by refugees from Somalia to Myanmar, the collection included burned toothbrushes, broken torchlights or damaged mobile phones. Each item was placed in a once in a lifetime bespoke piece of packaging that looked innocent on the outside but contained the tragedy inside. The packaging design was further complemented with the name of the donor and the story behind the object.
The launch was made with an integrated campaign and a Pop-Up shop was opened in Omotesando, where all the objects were made available to buy. All funds generated reverted back to the refugees who supplied the items.
In a country that only granted 11 asylum applications out of 5000 applications last year, the collection was a precious insight on their daily struggles and will now be center stage at the United Nations University in Tokyo on World Refugee Day.