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How Remember a Charity encouraged people to alter their wills

How Remember a Charity encouraged people to alter their wills


Remember A Charity works on behalf of over 150 charities to encourage more people to leave a charitable gift in their will. Most charities depend on legacy income and many wouldn’t exist without them. Currently only 7% of the UK population leave money to a charity in their will but if the sector grew by just 4% charities would benefit from an extra £1 billion.

The challenge is people do not talk about wills as they are riddled with social taboos: death and money and the sensitive issue of who gets the inheritance.

However, our research showed (Legacy Giving, TNS, 2008) that when prompted to think about the subject more people would consider leaving a legacy. This suggested that provoking a conversation in the over 50s audience (those most likely to donate) would be more effective than pushing a TV ad, which is far easier to receive passively. This gave us our objective.


Our strategy was to create a bold, entertaining idea that would generate PR to reach our audience but stimulate conversation and deepen engagement with the issue.

We concentrated on creating brilliant content rather than traffic drivers and used the online power of RAC members to promote it. The idea had to be remarkable enough to get picked up by the broadcast media our audience tune into and cool enough to have a conversation with a younger audience.

Our idea was built around a man who knows the importance of wills more than anyone: one of Britain’s oldest stuntmen, who nearly died on the set of one of his films, Rocky Taylor.


The PR angle was Rocky recreating two stunts. The first stunt being the one that nearly killed him 26 years earlier with the endline, Remember a Charity in Your Will. Before it’s too late.

Having found the perfect spokesman we created a brand around Rocky. Design elements ran through everything: a striking logo, stunt reel, suits and car, press ads, film and Facebook page. The events were heavily branded with Remember a Charity messaging which gave the charity exposure to millions.

In the run up to the first stunt a TV ad campaign, created by DDB UK, ran featuring Rocky discussing his life as a stuntman and why having a will is important to him and his family and that he will be making a legacy donation.    
We ensured we’d reach our audience through PR radio days (Radio 2, BBC World Service, BBC regional stations) where our intriguing figurehead explained why he was willing to risk life and limb for Remember a Charity’s issue.

Facebook was valuable in facilitating the conversation and harnessing the influence of Remember a Charity’s 150 members. Many of the members had active fanbases which allowed us to reach a receptive, charitable audience and increased the chance of word of mouth. Facebook housed a series of funny, poignant videos explaining the campaign and let people vote on the level of danger involved in the stunt performed.

The live stunts were the meat of the campaign and were streamed on Facebook, inspiring global news coverage. Sky News and ITN covered the build up and broadcast the stunt repeatedly in following days.

The idea was captured in a short documentary where you were drawn into Rocky’s unusual career. The touching, humorous tone of the film helped the ‘importance of wills’ message really hit home. The first stunt was followed by a live finale stunt where Rocky broke a Guinness World Record first set on one of his Bond films.

The feeling that anything could happen reflected the insight that we’re all vulnerable and gave the media a compelling hook to support and spread our message worldwide.


The campaign generated £1,280,189 of free broadcast PR, reaching over 83 million of our desired gift-giving audience and 2,114,413 more through endorsed social promotion.

We commissioned research that assessed 2010’s TV campaign to compare the campaign effect on attitudes to charitable legacies. It revealed we succeeded in increasing conversation levels, with 39% more people agreeing they were more likely to talk to friends and family having seen this campaign vs. those exposed to 2010’s campaign.

With no sure way of knowing whether someone has left a legacy the best indicators are consideration to leave a legacy and intent to know more about leaving one. Those remembering the campaign were three times more likely to have discussed leaving a legacy and almost a fifth say they are more likely to leave a legacy after seeing the Rocky ads.

Evidencing this is the growth in searches for ‘Remember A Charity’ and site visitors:

•    210% uplift in search for 'Remember A Charity' during Awareness Week vs. the previous week.
•    Visitors searching to 'Find a charity', a section illustrating they’re considering who to donate to, rose by a third
•    The number of new visitors was up 500% on an average week.

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