WFP’S 805 Million Names Project

‘805 million people are suffering from hunger today. Make sure the world knows.’

With a call-to-action like that, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) strikes the right chord in its brilliant new 805 Million Names Project. Partnering with soccer star ZlatanIbrahimović, striker for Paris-Saint-Germaine and captain of the Swedish national team, the WFP unveiled the campaign during a match Ibrahimović was a part of, which also happened to be on Valentine’s Day.

What’s made the campaign stand out is the advertising medium – Ibrahimović’s body which was tattooed with 50 names – a symbolical representative of the estimated 805 million people affected by hunger globally. And his Twitter account which is followed by 2.47 million people.

805 Million Names Project


While advertising on human bodies – what came to be known as ‘skinvertising’ – is not new, the scale on which this has been executed has the potential to create a lasting impact.

Ibrahimović revealed the temporary tattoos on his body to a wave of applause from the audience. With the fan base he has, his endorsement of the cause will not go unnoticed.

“Each one of the 805 million people suffering from hunger in the world has a name, a voice, a story to share,” says Marina Catena, WFP Director for France and the Principality of Monaco.

Zlatan accepted the challenge and wished to carry their stories on his own skin so that the world does not forget them.


Read Japan’s version of ‘skinvertising’ – advertising on women’s thighs, here

Meet the people who’ve been ‘branded for life’ with body advertising. Read more here


With this campaign, the WFP hopes to highlight the work it has been doing in crisis-affected regions of the world, and also encourage more people to join the fight against hunger.

The campaign does not end with the tattoos though. Ibrahimović, on his Twitter account, posted a photograph of the shoe he’ll be wearing for his next match, with ‘805 Million Names’ engraved on it. He has received an outpouring of positive response from his fans on the social networking site.

Such innovative approaches to reaching people are essential for organizations that typically struggle for a share of attention on the common man’s several screens.


For an interesting look at how unconventional modes of advertising have been used, click here


This post is a part of our People’s Insights brief for January-February 2015 – Inspiring Innovations



Melanie Joe

Melanie Joe

Melanie is Consultant - Research and Insights at MSLGROUP, based in Mumbai. She tracks inspiring initiatives in the digital space for People's Insights.

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