Seen+Noted: Campaign transforms tattoo studios in Germany into organ donation opt-in centers

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Seen+Noted: Campaign transforms tattoo studios in Germany into organ donation opt-in centers

Enter #OPTINK, a free tattoo that makes you an organ donor. Created by organ donation awareness organization Junge Helden and McCann Worldgroup, the tattoo was designed by prominent Berlin-based tattoo artist Gara to be immediately recognizable, scalable, and easily interpreted by other artists.


Every year, around 10.000 Germans await an organ transplant. However, due to a lack of donors, 3 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. A proof that can take any shape or form.

One in four Germans has a tattoo.

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, symbolizing 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 program 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.

Seen+Noted: Campaign transforms tattoo studios in Germany into organ donation opt-in centers

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.

For more information, the entire list of partners and participants and where to get inked, click here.


Agency: McCann Paris, McCann Germany, Weber Shandwick Germany, MRM Germany, MRM London & McCann Erickson Worldwide
CRAFT Germany
Junge Helden e.V. – c/o Sterntaler Film, Preysingstrasse 24, 81667 Munich
Anna Barbara Sum – Management, Co-Founder
Nicolas Höfer – First Board of Directors, Co-founder
Team Credits Title/ Position
Adrian Botan – Global ECD, CCO McCann Europe
Julien Calot – Chief Creative Officer
Cedric Astrella – Executive Creative Director
Farah El Feghali – Creative Director
Mateo Fernandez – Creative Director
Goetz Ulmer – Chief Creative Officer
Donovan Bryan – Executive Creative Director
Goncalo Gameiro – Art Director
Gabriel Abrucio – Senior Copywriter
Schakir Islamow – Senior Copywriter
Bjoern Seib – Creative Director
Guto Kono – Associate Creative Director
Jan Wilhelm – Account Director
Alexandra Znaty – Head of Project Management
Hajar El Kalaji – Account Director
Julia Suedholter – Senior Manager Media Relations
Dominik Hennes – Senior Manager, Client Experience Digital
Susan Kobs – Senior Manager, Business Development & Marketing
Ilan Schaefer – CEO
Alice Reindlova – PR & Communication Manager
Petra Strobl – Chief Communication and Culture Officer
Carmen Bistrian – Global Lead, Director of Product Excellence
Connie Bedenk – Creative Excellence Manager
Etienne Philippe – Motion Designer
Launde Morel – Interactive Designer
Pierre-Jean Bernard – Social Media Manager
Carsten Schneider – Grouphead Web Development
Keith Charlton – Software Engineer
Behzad Noroozi – Technical Director
Justine Maroux – Chief Project Manager Digital
Duc-Huy Tran – Project Director Digital
Darren Jones – Group Experience Director
Chris Taylor – Lead Front-End Developer
Constantin Muehlenhaupt – Junior Account Manager
Oliver Hugo – Head of Print Production
Sabine Schmalenbach – Producer
Ian Scheer – Cinematography
Dirk Laessig – Photographer
Tattoo Artist (Design)
Gara @ Der Grimm Tattoo
Tattoo Artists (Event)
Simone Klimmeck
Silvia Lampreda aka Blustorm
Tattoo Studios
Katinka Ink
hoke & poke studio
Vintage Tattoo
House of Rituals
Skin Art Atelier
White Lotus Tattoing
Seebär Tattoo
Original Hamburg Ink
Atelier Noir nu
Pow Wow Tattoo
Yakuza Tattoo
Secret Vogue
FarvHuus Tattoo

Seen+Noted: Campaign transforms tattoo studios in Germany into organ donation opt-in centers Seen+Noted: Campaign transforms tattoo studios in Germany into organ donation opt-in centers