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Case Studies


Christian Aid Ctrl.Alt.Shift Social Media film campaign

Christian Aid Ctrl.Alt.Shift Social Media film campaign

Best practice from Amplify.


June 2008 saw the launch of the youth initiative Ctrl.Alt.Shift by charity Christian Aid, a sub-brand developed to help the charity with an ageing support base engage with ‘young agitators’ across the UK. Amplify was engaged by Christian Aid in order to develop, create and manage a campaign to engage 18-25 year olds with the brand and the issues.
A New Approach

Christian Aid previously had focused their ‘yoof’ efforts on tombola-esque stands at major festivals, that were expensive and neither generated engagement nor understanding of issues or results. The right audience. The wrong approach.
Amplify’s alternative campaign fused digital, experience, consumer-generated content, positive endorsement and PR/superinfluencers.

Film, a form of media consumed avidly by the target age range, was used to reach out and proactively contribute to 18-25s. The Ctrl.Alt.Shift Film competition invited entrants to tackle the three key campaign issues, HIV + Stigma, War + Peace or Gender + Power, in their own visionary way.
Seeding with Superinfluencers

Launching October ‘08 through film schools, industry websites and a nationwide PR campaign, the Ctrl.Alt.Shift Film Competition paired five winning amateur filmmakers with inspiring names from contemporary British cinema, to mentor them through the production of their short.

Coupled with this, winning entrants had their film soundtrack supplied by a major recording artist and their work premiered at a London-based industry screening.
Positive Endorsement

Directors and artists involved in the project include Noel Clarke (Adulthood), Saam Farahmand (Part of the Weekend Never Dies), Kinga Burza (Katy Perry, Kate Nash), Paul Andrew Williams (London to Brighton), Shynola (Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy), Kinga Burza, Young Knives, Chipmunk, Metronomy and Shy Child.
Consumer-Generated Content

After receiving 91 quality entries (each with a 1,000 word treatment of how they would handle the issues) the Ctrl.Alt.Shift Short Film Competition’s four winners were announced via the official website and social networking channels Facebook and Twitter. A fifth winner was then selected through the People’s Choice award.  

The winning films were War School, 1000 Voices, HIV: The Musical, Man Made and, finally, No Way Through joining the line-up as the People’s Choice award.
The Ctrl.Alt.Shift director mentors offered their filmic expertise and were on hand to offer professional guidance throughout. In addition, Andy Noble of Warp Films acted as an overarching producer for each short.

 The films exceeded expectations all round in terms of quality and how clearly they conveyed difficult and sensitive content and issues. For example check out HIV: The Musical (starring the Mighty Boosh’s Julian Barret and The Office’s Martin Freeman) or War School featuring Kate Ashworth.
The Experience

The five films premiered at London’s Shoreditch Studios in May 2009. A mix of those involved, including journalists, bloggers, key stakeholders and competition winners, came to the screening of the films, plus there were live performances from acts that had supplied tracks such as Shy Child and Chipmunk. Celebrity attendees included Kano and DJ Ironik.
The Full Loop

The five pieces of content are now being carefully amplified through strategic partnerships, seeded digitally and at film festivals across the world. Best of all the festival ‘loop’ has been closed – with content that can be shown between acts that is both entertaining to Ctrl.Alt.Shift’s target audience while also raising awareness of the charity and the key issues addressed by the films.

What’s more, No way Through and Man Made won the endorsement of the British Film Council on the international short film circuit while War School and 1000 Voices were both shortlisted for the Best UK Short Film award at the Raindance Film Festival.
Each day consumers generate more and more of the content and direction of Ctrl.Alt.Shift, making it not only their charity of choice, but of construction.

Latest Results

Total views online: 95,000 (and climbing)

Christian Aid’s brief to Amplify was to increase its relevance for a youth audience in their own environment, through a campaign that went beyond the accepted model of a stand at festivals.

The campaign connected the charity with a number of impressive names – some famous in the mainstream, others burgeoning talents who are building a following in their chosen fields.

As well as all five films being screened at Raindance, War School and 1000 Voices were both shortlisted for the Best UK Short Film award at the festival while No way Through and Man Made won the endorsement of the British Film Council on the international short film circuit.

These ultimate accolades meant thousands of festival goers were exposed to Christian Aid’s brand and its messages in a way that was natural and engaging – as recognised short films in Raindance’s scheduleand at film festivals the world over.

To see a video of this campaign, click to play below.

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