john st. Launches ‘Surrogaid’ for War Child Canada

By Erik Oster 

“What if you could help mother children in war-affected areas? What if you could virtually reach out and literally provide them the warmth of a mother’s hug?” These questions are the genesis of john st.’s new campaign for War Child, which attempts to dupe viewers into believing they can provide virtual motherhood services at the click of a button. The message they recieve — either tat the end of the campaign video (above) or after attempting to provide these services at the campaign website (where the interactive web experience was designed by Jam 3) — is “You can’t donate motherhood. But you can donate money.”

Arriving (obviously) just in time for Mother’s Day, the campaign attempts to raise money and awareness for War Child Canada, a charity helping children in war torn areas, while motherhood is on people’s minds. The campaign includes broadcast, online, radio, and out-of-home components.


“We wanted to make it seem plausible that you could donate the act of motherhood online”, explains Stephen Jurisic, ECD of john st. advertising. “But of course you can’t. Only real mothers in these war-affected countries can provide their children with that.”

James Topham of War Child Canada adds, “We thought this was a fresh way to remind people just how important mothers are to the healthy development of children – particularly in the context of war. And that the best way to support them is still the easiest – by donating money.” Credits after the jump.


Agency: john st.

Executive Creative Director: Stephen Jurisic, Angus Tucker

Art Director: Marie Richer

Copywriter: Jamie Umpherson

Producer: Cas Binnington

Account Service: Laura Rodriguez

Strategic Planning: Laura Robbins


Production: OPC

Director: FamilyStyle (Jono Hunter)

Executive Producers: Harland Weiss, Donovan Boden, Liz Dussault

Producer: Isil Gilderdale

DP: Brett Van Dyke

Art Director: Brad Wilson


Digital Production: Jam3

Creative Director: Adrian Belina

Executive Producer: Graham Budd

Producer: Greg Benedetto

Designer: Vinicius Araujo

Director of Creative Technology: Mikko Haapoja

Tech Lead: Aaron Morris

Developer: Elliot Kwan

Developer: Alvaro Lemus


Offline House: School Editing

Editor: Mark Morton

Assistant Editor: Lauren Piche

Transfer: Alter Ego

Colourist: Conor Fisher


Online House: Fort York VFX

Executive Producers: Erin Kuttner & Amanda Lariviere

Online Artists: Ernie Mordak, Andrew Rolfe

Online Assistant: Jason Pereira

Audio House: Apollo Studios

Post-Audio Producers: Tom Hutch, Benedicte Leclere

Music Producers: Yan Dal Santo, Daenen Bramberger

Composer/Engineer: Harry Knazan

Composer/Sound Designer: Armen Bazarian