Christian Aid will launch what it says is the world’s first interactive television advert, which will allow viewers to donate instantly to Christian Aid Week using their smartphones.
The advert, which will be broadcast during the charity’s annual fundraising drive between 10 and 16 May, encourages people to download a free mobile app called Powatag and make either one-off donations or sign up to become regular givers.
To set up the PowaTag system on their smartphones, viewers will have to download the app and enter their payment details.
Then, whenever the advert plays while the supporter is watching, an inaudible signal will be sent to the phone, enabling its owner to activate the app, choose the amount they want to give and tap to confirm, which should take only a few seconds.
Powa Technologies, the company behind the app, said it would match the first £10,000 donated to Christian Aid by means of the app and give back to the charity the operational costs incurred during Christian Aid Week.
Eleanor Ledesma, head of Christian Aid Week, said in a statement: "We might be marking our 70th anniversary this year but, like all charities, we need to move with the times and embrace new technologies in order to make it easier for people with busy lives to donate at times convenient to them. PowaTag has great potential for the charity sector and we are delighted to be able to broadcast a world first with this innovative new advert."
Ledesma said the charity was looking at ways to incorporate PowaTag into its campaigns, because – as well as enabling donating – the app can be used to allow supporters to take actions such as signing petitions.
Dan Wagner, chief executive of Powa Technologies, said: "People feel a strong urge to get involved and donate when they see a TV appeal, but every second that goes by reduces the chance that a donation will be completed, especially if they need to fill in long forms. PowaTag gives them the ability to donate instantly with the emotional impact of the appeal still fresh in their minds."
This year’s Christian Aid Week advert focuses on women in poverty around the world who suffer discrimination from birth. The adverts will appear on ITV Granada, Border, Wales & West, Scotland, West Country, Yorkshire, Tyne Tees, Ulster and Anglia.
PowaTag, which has already been used by commercial brands such as Universal Music and Carrefour, is available from the iTunes and Google Play stores.