In Thailand, Operation Smile promotes cleft-lip surgery for kids

The campaign created with BBDO Bangkok adds color to children's smiles

BANGKOK — Children born with cleft lips often think their smiles are ugly and struggle to make friends. Operation Smile, a global foundation raising money for cleft-lip surgery, worked with BBDO Bangkok to try and change that.

For the campaign, professional makeup artists painted playful characters around children’s lips to highlight their smiles. The video was filmed and used as the main awareness driver to raise funds for the charity. Print and billboard promotions featuring key images further supported the fundraising efforts around Bangkok.

The Painted Smile captured the attention of both the Thai general public and celebrities who posted photos of themselves hiding their smiles behind dolls on Instagram, using the hashtag #thepaintedsmile.

According to BBDO Bangkok, the campaign earned US $1.6 million in free PR and raised enough money for more than 1,000 children in Thailand to receive cleft surgery this year.

This article first appeared on


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