Best practice from Adconion and Initiative.
This is the first time a charity like the Thai Children's Trust used online video rather than TV or direct mail as the primary medium for building brand awareness and raising donations. The campaign combined engaging emotionally evocative video content with the interactivity, targetability and accountability of online.
TCT was looking to build brand awareness, while also driving donations through its website. The campaign brief was to help TCT raise funds for Karen refugees in Thailand, amongst the neediest children in south-east Asia. In practical terms, this meant encouraging the target audience to make regular donations or sponsor a child with TCT.
Charities typically use telemarketing and ‘chugging’ to drive donations and encourage sponsorships. When they do turn to advertising, it is frequently direct response TV campaigns or direct mail – moreover, most charities prefer standard display advertising (non-video display banners) when running campaigns online.
TCT approached Initiative to initially buy a TV campaign; however, they were persuaded by the agency to instead choose online video with a direct element – a bold step that reflected the charity’s innovative approach and a strong vision on ROI. Initiative then briefed Adconion on what to include in the campaign.
Adconion worked collaboratively with Initiative and TCT to conceive, implement and execute the campaign. Adconion and
Initiative decided to use online video, combining the strongest elements of TV direct response advertising – i.e. strong evocative content that leads to an emotional response and direct action – with the interactivity, targeting and accountability of online. Execution: The campaign ran in October 2009 and was aimed at 30-plus women.
The campaign videos, created by the TCT under consultation with Initiative’s creative department LAB, focused on the stories of Chenu and Yin, two Burmese children who were forced to flee the country.
The videos demonstrated the difficulties faced by Chenu, Yin and other Burmese refugees, and also showcased some of the TCT’s safe houses, helping potential donors understand how their support makes a tangible difference.
There was also a Flash drawing tool, which allowed users to create bright and cheerful drawings which could be shared with friends via email or social networks, adding a viral element to the campaign.
The campaign ran with standard banners created by LAB, as well as expandable video MPUs created by Adconion. Viewers could click through to donate or share with friends, encouraging them to also sponsor children like Chenu and Yin.
The standard banners re-targeted users who had interacted with the video ad or the TCT website, but not sponsored a child, directing them to the TCT website. Adconion also created sequential messaging to ensure that users who returned to the Adconion network were exposed to the second video advert.
The videos of Chenu and Yin demonstrated to viewers how their support can make a real, practical difference to the lives of such children.
Viewers could then simply click through to make a donation or be directed to the TCT website (eliminating the need to pick up the phone or move to their computers, which they would have to do if watching the advertisement on TV).
The videos were further supported with targeted display advertising, bringing in USPs similar to direct mail, allowing TCT to target a specific audience and measure the results. Moreover, sequential messaging allowed TCT to expose different viewers to different tiers of the campaign, where relevant.
The campaign also incorporated the viral aspects of social media. Using the Flash drawing tool, viewers could actually interact with and experience the TCT brand, and then share these via email or across social networking sites.
From a technology point of view, the rich media advertising format used has been specifically developed by Adconion’s video network, Adconion.TV. This format allowed the client to track the campaign with more depth than they would with a regular online data capture/ donation campaign using standard online ad formats.
The technology also provided campaign analysis beyond anything that traditional routes can deliver, and allowed TCT to know:
• Exactly who viewed the commercials
• In what manner and for how long they engaged with the content
• Which elements were forwarded on, and by which viewers
• Whether any information was downloaded
• Which pages were viewed the longest
• Whether the viewers went on to donate
• And what point in the process they dropped off
This analysis provided TCT with invaluable feedback, allowing them to take key learnings forward to incorporate into future campaigns, making these more targeted in terms of audience and messaging, and therefore far more effective.
The campaign saw:
• 7% expansion rate
• 10% of users who expanded the creative clicked to play two or more videos
• Video completion rate of 51%
The analysis and results provided TCT with invaluable feedback, allowing them to fine tune future online campaigns to help make them more targeted in terms of audience and messaging, and therefore far more effective.
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