Variety Club drops ‘club’ name

Variety Club, the 60-year-old children’s charity, is dropping ‘club’ from its name and rebranding as Variety in a bid to raise awareness of the organisation with younger audiences.


The charity is also introducing a new strapline: “Improving young lives every day” to better communicate what it does.

Variety discovered that it was not very well known amongst younger consumers, despite having high awareness among older audiences. Its market research also revealed that the word ‘club’ in the name was a barrier and it was perceived as exclusive members club rather than an inclusive charitable organisation.
It hopes to target people in their mid 20s and 30s and encourage long term support.

The international charity has also partnered with Lucasfilm and Twentieth Century Fox to launch a campaign featuring Star Wars character C-3PO and R2-D2 in support of its annual Gold Hearts campaign.

C-3PO and R2-D2 will feature on the gold heart badges it sells to raise funds. The campaign and badges are due to launch in February to coincide with the 3D release of Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace in cinemas.

The charity, best known for its Sunshine Coaches, aims to provide positive experiences for sick and disadvantaged children under 19 and its services range from days out to school equipment, youth clubs, and support for children’s hospitals, hospices, and providing powered wheelchairs.

Rod Natkiel, Variety’s chairman of media, marketing and communications, says: “Our great strength is the wide range of activities we provide, but getting the message across about a variety of things is harder than getting a specific message across. We had to simplify and get rid of ‘club’ because it wasn’t doing us any favours.”

He adds that under its revived marketing focus, the charity will look to strengthen its corporate partnerships and will use direct mail as a way of reaching new supporters in the long term.

It will focus on a PR strategy in 2012 to raise awareness through events and is also planning to relaunch its website and improve its digital presence.

Variety also plans to announce a number of high profile celebrity partnerships in coming months, continuing its long history of endorsement from the entertainment industry. Alesha Dixon, Barbara Windsor, Michael McIntyre and Al Murray have all lent their support in the past.

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