The NSPCC is bringing together fundraising, brand and communications for the first time in a new marketing campaign that aims to “galvanise” its employees and the public around the work it does to help children.
The move comes as the charity admits the public do not differentiate between the different types of communication it puts out, meaning it makes sense to get them working together.
NSPCC’s head of individual giving, Catherine Cherry, tells Marketing Week: “We wanted to use the strength of our brand, the strength of our press team and fundraising to create something that will have more impact.”
The brand combined each team’s budgets and expertise to achieve two key goals. Firstly, it wanted to engage a core audience of parents to drive up donations; and secondly it wanted to minimise paid media.
A campaign taskforce comprising different people across the business units came together from the first day to build the campaign.
“We incorporated a wide team from across NSPCC, which is quite unusual. Usually a campaign would come from the marketing team but we were all equal players [in this one],” Cherry says.
While quick to point out that “there are lot more positives than challenges” with the new format, there were still issues that occurred as a result of the new set up namely struggling “to be quick and decisive”.
She explains: “When you have a number of teams who are equal stakeholders in the project and have a very big say in the final creative content, that can be really tricky.”
Uniting the teams under one common goal helped the group overcome this and “galvanised” both the public and employees and was the key to uniting groups.
“It wasn’t ‘what’s my brand KPI or fundraising KPI’, you were thinking how do you get parents engaged in the NSPCC? That goal makes those internal conflicts feel less important,” Cherry notes.
The new campaign focuses on how children often mask their true feelings in their digital lives and to highlight the online counselling provided by the NSPCC.
Created by Open Creates, the ‘Kids In Real Life’ campaign features a split image with one half showing children who are sad in real life and the other happy emojis that children often use to represent themselves online. Online videos show these smiling, positive faces stripped away to reveal the suffering of the children the NSPCC seeks to help and will run across digital and outdoor.
There is a call for donations within the campaign, but the NSPCC is also building in other options. These include Kids IRL merchandise and the opportunity to support its advocacy work.
The charity is creating bespoke journeys for its key target audience – parents of school-age children – that will encourage them to support the charity in the longer term rather than simply making a one-off donation.
While this is the first campaign launched under the new way of working, Cherry is optimistic this is the future of marketing for the children’s charity. However, this will be decided once the campaign results are in, with the charity keen to understand how it drives both direct-response donations and longer-term engagement with the charity.
Cherry says: “We wanted to create a campaign that depicts accurately, and with credibility, some of the struggles of young people. Ultimately, we wanted to unlock that latent support [that the UK has for children].”