Send a Cow | Social | Content | Press office


Charity Send a Cow helps families in Africa break free from poverty. In 2014 it launched ‘The Break… Fast Appeal’: a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of breakfast in providing children in Africa with the energy to concentrate at school, get a good education, achieve their true potential and break free from poverty.

The Break… Fast Appeal’s fundraising target was £500,000, with every £1 raised matched by the UK Government – making the actual target £1,000,000.

Cow was engaged to develop a campaign for the appeal. Success was not being judged on coverage and social media alone, but if people to engaged with the charity and donated.

Our strategy was designed to be inspirational, emotional and galvanise a single thought: breakfast is not just the most important meal of the day, but the most important meal of all mankind.

We arrived there by asking hypothetical questions of great human breakthroughs. What if Einstein hadn’t had breakfast the day he cracked the theory of relativity? Or if Edison had skipped breakfast the morning he, quite literally, had that light bulb moment? If these great people hadn’t made the discoveries they did – when they did – would mankind have progressed to where it has today?

Returning to the primary campaign focus – Africa – this approach enabled us to unlock the notion that there may be countless children in Africa with the potential to be the next Einstein, but without a decent breakfast to help them realise their true potential, we’ll never know.

From our strategy we arrived at our creative tactic, ‘The Most Important Meal Of Their Lives’: the first cookery book containing actual breakfasts eaten by some of the greatest men and women in history. Included in the free eBook were 18 breakfasts eaten by the likes of Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill, Rosa Parks, Florence Nightingale, Albert Einstein and more.

The recipes were gathered by analysing historical records, speaking to experts and family estates, and inspecting museum archives and personal correspondence. A chef recreated the dishes and a photo shoot conducted. The finished eBook was made available from the Send a Cow website ( with a suggested donation of £2.50.

The story struck a chord with the media, secruing over 54 pieces of coverage, with a readership: 9,870,259. Highlights included The Times, BBC Breakfast, Daily Mirror, Metro, Evening Standard, Buzzfeed, 12 radio stations and several regional newspapers. All coverage fully messaged with inbound links to download the eBook and donation instructions.

We also got people talking about the campaign on social and drove traffic to the charity’s website. All activity was organised from Send a Cow feeds with the hashtag #BestStart. Highlights included unpaid tweets from Stephen Fry (6.86million followers), Jamie Theakston (57,600 followers), Michaela Strachan (27,400 followers) and Thomasina Miers (26,000 followers). Each celeb tweeted the breakfast that gives them their #BestStart, linked to the eBook and mentioned @SendaCow. Within minutes of Stephen Fry tweeting, Send a Cow’s website received 1,300 hits and 400 downloads.

In all, over 14 million people were reached on social media as a result of the campaign.

Most importantly, however, the campaign enabled the charity to reach its target figure of £500,000 (£1million with the government matching) two weeks ahead of its deadline. The final donation figure exceeded all expectations, reaching £1.504 million.

The idea has proven to be a big awards winner, taking the gongs in not for profit categories at PRCA Awards, PRMoment Awards and CIPR Excellence Awards.

Mahatma Gandhi Charles Darwin