Sophia for Children: Let’s Hippo



Sophia for Children and Partners Y&R teamed up to create an original social idea which became a true experience and made countless children smile. Sophia for Children, a foundation that aims to fight poverty and its repercussions for children in Kenya and Cyprus, was looking for a way to strengthen its efforts with a campaign that would create buzz on the island.


The whole idea came from stone-made hippopotamuses, made by children in Kenya. These were handed over to 20 Cypriot artists who put their talent and their love for children to create 20 collectible hippos, which symbolically started their journey from Africa. The main challenge was to build a strong marketing campaign in order to find 20 companies in Cyprus that would want to ‘adopt’ the hippos for the amount of €5.000 each. The proceeds of the “adoption” of these works of art supported the cause of Sophia for Children.

The auction of the ‘adoption’ of the hippopotamus took place at the Presidential Palace under the auspices of the President of the Republic Ms. Anastasiades. 20 companies had declared their participation and acquired their own hippopotamus through a draw.

The entire time of this wonderful journey, the 20 hippos spread messages of love, care, and support for the children of Cyprus. Lots of people, influencers, fashionistas, bloggers and political figures embraced the effort and participated in the actions and events of “Let’s Hippo” in every way.

Among other actions, the hippos were exposed at the Mall of Cyprus and Larnaca’s International Airport, where the audience was asked to take a selfie with the hippos and post their photos at, offering in return important help to Sophia Foundation for Children. For each unique uploaded photo, the co-organizer Partners Y&R offered €5, in an effort to raise an additional €5000 for the adoption of another hippo, the digital one.


The campaign generated lots of buzz around the country and received widespread exposure. The communication was planned and executed in four phases (teaser, launch, communicating the events and the ‘thank you’ phase). Social media and web banners sent the audience to the microsite and print and radio ads supported the campaign. More than €100.000 was raised and Hippos became well-known characters around Cyprus. The campaign was a massive success and generated a high volume of traffic. All campaign goals were achieved and the public of Cyprus refers to these Hippos still.

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