BreatheLife for the World Health Organization (WHO)

Mobilizing millions to #breathelife back into our cities

In partnership with the World Health Organization and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, Purpose developed the brand, content and campaign strategy for BreatheLife, with the goal of mobilizing cities and individuals to protect our health and planet from the effects of air pollution. 

02. Insight & Strategy


Air pollution kills 6.5 million people each year. It impacts our health through long-term exposure and causes near-term climate change, threatening the lives of future generations. The World Health Organization and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition tasked Purpose with launching a campaign to mobilize millions to combat this invisible killer and BreatheLife back into our cities.


By joining forces, WHO and CCAC combined expertise and partnerships that could tackle both the climate and health impacts of air pollution. Together they launched the BreatheLife campaign, with the ultimate goal of cutting the number of deaths caused each year by air pollution in half by 2030. 


The campaign connects cities to share best practices, increases air pollution monitoring to better measure and mitigate risk, accelerates the demand and deployment of new solutions, and empowers individuals to take action both locally and globally on air pollution.

03. Flagship Video

Our flagship video, ‘Walk Home,’ followed three children from different parts of the world to highlight the different ways in which they may encounter air pollution on their journey home.

04. Web Experience & Data Visualization

Using the WHO data, we created an action platform that allows visitors to find the air pollution levels in their city in an accessible and engaging way, and also easily take meaningful action to address this global environmental and health crisis.

05. Infographics

We created a series of infographics to visualize the key statistics and figures regarding air pollution risk and prevalence.

06. Social Graphics

We created a series of shareable graphics for social media that exposed the links between air pollution and some of the world’s most common causes of death

07. Campaign Launch at Habitat III

We organized a series of actions at Habitat III to engage with attendees and generate online and offline discussion around BreatheLife Cities. The convening marked the launch of the BreatheLife Cities Network, a global platform for cities around the world to show their support for clean air solutions and share progress in the global fight to reduce air pollution to safe levels by 2030. At the event itself, participants we asked to take a “clean air selfie,” calling on leaders to breathe life back into their city. These are some of our favorites.

08. Branding

We developed a flexible, multi-language brand system that is both bold and recognizable, but nimble enough to be localized to different languages and even for different cities.

09. Impact

The launch of the ‘Walk Home’ video was the most shared tweet of the Habitat III , the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, during which the campaign was officially launched with over 1,000 retweets and an audience of nearly 300,000.

Many mainstream outlets covered the campaign and highlighted the linkages between air pollution and its effects on health and climate change, including global publications like the Huffington Post and local publications like the Manila Times and El Tiempo.

BreatheLife developed an ongoing partnership with C40 to help build public support for banning diesel vehicles in cities around the world with Athens, Paris, Madrid, Mexico City announcing a ban at the C40 Summit in December.

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