screen shot - ordinary day

Doctors Without Borders ‘Ordinary Day’ TVC


In it’s first week of flighting, Ogilvy Joburg’s ad for Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders resulted in recruiting 166 donors.


The ad, titled Ordinary Day, reveals the extraordinary determination and efforts of MSF workers.


The ad features a voiceover that narrates, scene-by-scene, the kind of day a typical business executive might experience: getting stuck in traffic en-route to work; meeting suppliers; taking a work lunch; dealing with tough customers; doing afternoon weights, and then receiving a call to deal with a last-minute emergency.


But what viewers see is completely at odds with the pedestrian nature of the audio: real footage documenting the gut-wrenching daily experiences of MSF doctors and fieldworkers.


Creative Director, Mariana O’Kelly let us know more, she said, “In order for us to understand what an MSF doctor endures, we had a full immersion into a day in their life and spent a day in Dark City, a hijacked building in Johannesburg CBD where families with children and small babies live without sanitation, water or electricity. It’s then that you realise how trivial our first world problems are, and how thankful we should be every day that we live without any real need.”


Featuring real-life field footage, the ad is inspired by the documentary, Living in Emergency (2008), directed by Mark N Hopkins which reveals the daily lives of four MSF volunteer doctors working in treacherous conditions within the Liberian and Congolese war zones. In addition to this footage, Deepend editor, Daniel Mitchell, spent hours trawling through MSF archival footage to find the right scenes.


The music used in the ad is by Noir Désir (Bertrand Cantat, Jean-Paul Roy, Serge Teyssot-Gay and Denis Barthe), who granted MSF pro bono use of the track.




Executive Creative Director: Fran Luckin
Creative Director: Mariana O’Kelly
Art Director: Michelle McKenna
Copy Writers: Michelle McKenna, Taryn Scher
Producer: Lesley Roe
Business Directors: Katinka Slabbert, Candice Shortt.
Deepend Editor: Daniel Mitchell


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