Oxfam aims for Guinness World Record in experiential push

Oxfam is hoping to break a Guinness World Record and sign up to 40,000 new supporters as part of an experiential Mothers’ Day marketing drive aimed at explaining the relevance of the charity’s work to a new audience.

Video: Oxfam supports its experiential push with an online video asking what makes mums special

The Happiest Mothers’ Day Card campaign, created by Proximity London and Grand Visual, is a giant canvas divided up into small squares. The charity is asking people to go online to dedicate a square to their mum, which artist Lizzie Mary Cullen will then paint.

The event will run at the Westfield shopping centre in London from Wednesday (19 March) through to Sunday (23 March). Oxfam is hoping to get more than 10,000 dedications to mothers, breaking the Guinness World Record for most inputs to a greetings card, which currently stands at 5,339.

John Lucas, supporter development manager at Oxfam, tells Marketing Week this new campaign is the “most significant” experiential activation it has done and marks a shift in strategy. It has previously used experiential marketing to explain the work it does, running events such as the “Emergency Challenge” that let people experience what it is like to organise the emergency work the charity does.

This campaign, however, is about involving the charity in every day events such as Mothers’ Day and then using their interest to tell stories about women and mothers, he says. It also hopes to raise £10m for the charity.

“We are trying to tap into the emotions the public have around Mothers’ Day. We want to build an Oxfam narrative into that dialogue to bring Oxfam closer to the public,” he adds.

The campaign will have a dedicated website, www.happiestmothersdaycard.org, with users asked to input their personal details, including name and email address, to make a dedication. Oxfam will then continue to communicate with those that sign up, showing them their dedication square in the finished card and explaining the work that Oxfam does.

Lucas says the charity hopes the campaign will make Oxfam more relevant to a wider audience that may not think the work it does relates to them. It will be supporting the experiential campaign through social media and digital channels, including a YouTube video that looks at what makes mums so special (see above).

“Oxfam can come across as a quite a complex organisation. Lots of big charities are seen as more of an institution. This is a way of engaging Oxfam in the every day lives of people and bringing our work to life in a meaningful way,” he says.

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