The Prostate Cancer Charity and LoveFilm

By Mathew Little, Third Sector, 24 November 2009



The charity wants to tell the DVD company's young market that prostate cancer is not an old man's disease

The Prostate Cancer Charity has deliberately not set a fundraising target for its corporate partnership with DVD rental company LoveFilm, which began in August. The partnership is unexplored territory for the men's health charity: it is the first time it has worked with a company that operates solely online.

"We don't know how much we will raise," says Anna Borrini, head of partnerships at the charity. "It is a leap in the dark."

But she looks upon the 12-month partnership as a worthwhile gamble because it promises access to a beneficiary group that the charity has struggled to reach in the past.

"We have an issue with the fact that prostate cancer is seen as an old man's disease, and one of our strategic objectives is to raise awareness of the disease among younger people," explains Borrini. "Their online model suits their younger market, which is good for us."

LoveFilm, which employs 430 people in the UK and has a 40 per cent share of the DVD rental market, is also venturing onto new ground. The partnership with the Prostate Cancer Charity, along with a simultaneous relationship with Ovarian Cancer Action, is the first time it has formally worked with charities.

Fliss White, head of brand marketing at the company, is keen to take advantage of its online presence. "I do think you can be a little more creative online," she says. "You have more avenues."

Both charity partners have their own bespoke pages on the LoveFilm site, and banner and skyscraper ads and short films are being used to promote their work.

The firm is also using film to illustrate The Prostate Cancer Charity's work. It has compiled a Facial Hair Hall of Fame, featuring moustachioed stars such as Tom Selleck and Borat, to promote the charity's Movember fundraising drive.

The campaign, which encourages men to grow moustaches during the month of November, raised £2.6m in 2008, and with nearly double the number of participants this year, there are hopes for an even higher amount.

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