Comic Relief is tracking engagement and recall of its advertising campaign in the run up to Red Nose Day through market research consultancy SPA Future Thinking.
The research covers all media, including word-of-mouth, and canvasses both the general public and fundraisers. It will measure the extent to which this year’s Red Nose Day campaign engages its audience in three ways: online diaries followed by focus groups, a website survey, and an online survey.
‘This project is a great way to benchmark what really works across all media, from BBC trails to press and outdoor advertising and the word on the street,’ said Alison Cowan, head of marketing at Comic Relief.
‘The qualitative element enables us to tweak our campaign in real time. The overall findings, including quantitative work, will inform the campaign we’re putting together for Sport Relief 2012, and of course Red Nose Day 2013.’
The qualitative element of the project kicks off first. Charlotte Butterworth, group managing director at SPA Future Thinking, said: ‘The objective is to research the success of Comic Relief’s marketing and messaging in inspiring people to Do Something Funny for Money and get involved throughout the campaign.’ Online diaries form the centrepiece of the qualitative strand.
A group of 36 people in Birmingham, Manchester and London will keep online diaries of any interaction they have with Comic Relief in the run up to Red Nose Day, noting all mentions they come across. Participants will also be asked to write a weekly blog on what they’ve seen and how it has impacted their behaviour.
Each diary will be monitored weekly by Comic Relief and SPA Future Thinking. ‘For the first few weeks, we’ll be seeing what happens spontaneously,’ said Cowan. ‘As we get closer to Red Nose Day, we’ll be more overtly driving fundraisers towards specific areas of the campaign.’
Focus groups with the diarists will take place in the first week immediately following Red Nose Day. Researchers will drill down into how the ad campaign and marketing collateral changed the fundraising events held by participants.
Butterworth said: ‘Quantitative surveys will research the effect and impact of Red Nose Day 2011 on specific target audiences as well as the public at large.’
The quantitative strand comprises an online survey that aims to gather 1,000 responses to the Red Nose Day website and establish how easy respondents found it to navigate. An email survey will go out to fundraisers to gauge how campaign marketing materials performed and how sponsors reacted to them.
‘This is intensive but totally appropriate for a charity such as Comic Relief – people are so engaged with it they are willing to give up the time,’ said Butterworth. This year’s Red Nose Day takes place on Friday 18th March. To find out more go to www.rednoseday.com
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