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Site of the week: War Child – Surrogaid

The aesthetic and tone of a trendy tech start-up is turned on its head for this engaging experience

Site of the week War Child Surrogaid


It’s very easy in our cosy enthusiasm for future tech to ignore some of the more important human issues the world faces today. This is precisely what makes so jerking, when visitors realise what it’s actually saying.

Commissioned by advertisers John St. as an aid awareness campaign for the charity War Child, it poses as a trendy, po-faced start-up dotcom to deliver a poignant message. Marrying highly believable, beautifully produced video assets with interactive sprite sheet-based animations, the whole experience is about subverting our perceptions. Built by Toronto-based studio Jam3, the designers were seemingly comfortable turning the pomposity of a digital start-up on its head for such a cause.

“Technology should never get ahead of the story and no technology can ever replace a mother’s love,” says Adrian Belina, partner and creative director at Jam3. “War Child’s goal with was to remind people of that. In coming up with the aesthetic, it was important for the Surrogaid site to feel like a real start-up which meant it couldn’t be overly designed or promotional. We researched several Kickstarter campaigns to understand the type of content and style that is trending within the start-up community. This site reflects the minimal and simple style found in these crowd-funded tech company sites.”


The visuals have a cold, laboratory-like authenticity that cleverly belies the warmth of the cause


Video footage produced by OPC FamilyStyle provides a sense of Surrogaid’s initial credibility