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This Free Tattoo Makes You ‘Opt-In’ for Organ Donation


Junge Helden and McCann teams in Paris and Germany transform tattoo studios across Germany into organ donation opt-in centers  

This Free Tattoo Makes You ‘Opt-In’ for Organ Donation

Every year, around 10,000 Germans await an organ transplant. However, due to a lack of donors, three of them die every day. It’s a surprising stat given that 84% of citizens say they are willing to donate, but less so once we see the real number of donors: only 0.001% of the population – a number that puts Germany among the lowest organ donation rates in Europe. This discrepancy can be attributed to the fact that Germany has not succeeded in passing 'opt-out' legislation and remains an 'opt-in' country for organ donations. Moreover, in Germany, there is no national register for organ donors.

The current law requires individuals to show explicit proof of consent to become donors. Proof that can take any shape or form.  

One in four Germans have a tattoo.  Enter #OPTINK, a free tattoo that makes you an organ donor. Created by organ donation awareness organisation Junge Helden and McCann, the tattoo was designed by prominent Berlin-based tattoo artist Gara to be immediately recognisable, scalable, and easily interpreted by other artists. The idea turns a regular tattoo consent form into an organ donation consent form, making #OPTINK act as a proof of will. Above all, the tattoo is a conversation starter and a statement to family members, making them aware of the person’s opt-in donor status – which is crucial, since relatives hold the final decision.  

#OPTINK’s minimal geometric design reveals a half circle juxtaposed against another half to become a whole, symbolising the gift of life that is organ donation. Promoted through a campaign with the motto 'Get inked. Give life', the initiative allows Germans to get inked with the tattoo for free at tattoo studios and events around the country.   

The programme was first introduced at one of Germany’s most important tattoo events: Die Tattoo Convention in Braunschweig. The #OPTINK booth was not only fully booked for its entire duration, but the design also received an Honorable Mention in the convention’s contest.   

#OPTINK was then launched nationwide at Junge Helden’s 20th anniversary event, in the presence of the medical community, celebrities and well-established tattoo artists.

The campaign arrives on the heels of the 3rd anniversary of German parliament’s rejection of a bill to change donor policy from “opt-in” to “opt-out,” which would make everyone donors by default.   

So far, the campaign has already managed to turn tattoo studios all over the country into organ donation recruitment centers and record over 100 tattoos, which represent a potential of over 700 lives saved.  


Agency / Creative
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Categories: Charity, Corporate, Social and PSAs

McCann Worldgroup Europe & London, Thu, 30 Mar 2023 13:06:00 GMT