Comic Relief is rethinking its strategy around engaging younger people in its fundraising campaign as it looks to better communicate with them online and on digital platforms.
The charity is partnering with online storytelling community Wattpad. It allows users to read and share stories online and has a total monthly audience of more than 45 million people. Three-quarters of Wattpad’s British readers are under 24.
The Comic Relief campaign, which launches today (17 February), features a custom commissioned story about teenagers with a crazy fundraising idea written by Leigh Ansell, one of the platform’s most popular writers.
There will also be a Comic Relief custom branded profile on Wattpad where stories will be housed, and the ‘humour’ category will be taken over by the charity.
We know there’s a specific tribe of young creatives on Wattpad. So we’re trying to create something bespoke for them. It moves us away from video to a new format.
Pete Durant, Comic Relief
The campaign marks a shift for Comic Relief, which has spent the last 20 years predominantly focused on building the brand through school programmes. However, as digital has become more prevalent in young people’s lives, it realised it had to evolve the brand “outside of the school context” and connect with its target audience differently.
“[The campaign] is to stay relevant and keep 16-to 24-year-olds emotionally connected with why we exist, and so we are working harder than ever to provide amazing content and experiences,” the brand’s digital partnerships and social media lead Pete Durant tells Marketing Week.
“Rather than taking a one size fits all approach to the audience, we know there’s a specific tribe of young creatives on Wattpad. So we’re trying to create something bespoke for them. It moves us away from video to a new format.”
Alongside the campaign on Wattpad, Comic Relief is also working with YouTube influencers and comedians to get the message out. On Red Nose Day, which takes place on 24 March, the charity will also run a Snapchat Live story.
Durant admits the Wattpad campaign is “a test” for the charity, and that it will be looking at how many people read its stories and engage with the content, and how they react to the issues raised.
He concludes: “This is just one part of a long-term investment in our new approach to young audiences. Later this year, will be launching a longer term creative position and platform for 16- to 24-year-olds, so we hope our Wattpad activity will provide us with learnings to super charge that in summer.”