FUNDRAISING NEWS: Depaul Trust in interactive drive

ANNIE KELLY

The Depaul Trust is to launch a pioneering interactive fundraising ad that allows the viewer to dictate the narrative of the life of a homeless boy.

Viewers use their remote control to choose what happens to a boy who is faced with various life choices throughout the ad.

All routes lead to the boy ending up on the street, and the ad then encourages people to give to the charity by opting to add a donation on to their monthly bill.

Mark McGreevy, chief executive of the Depaul Trust, said that the ad allowed the charity to put across complex messages and convey the root causes that lead many young people to a life on the streets.

"This ad allowed us the freedom to tell a story and get viewers to step into the shoes of someone who is faced with difficult decisions,

he said.

"The potential for interactive mediums such as this for the charity sector are huge because often a static image can't tell the whole story."

This is the first time that the Depaul Trust has used digital channels to raise funds. The ad will now appear on its web site and supporters will be able to donate online.

The ad uses advertising agency Publicis' Vodka (Video On Demand Kind of Advertising) system, which allows viewers to access many different TV streams at the same time. It is running on the Kingston Interactive Television service, which can be accessed by digital TV viewers in the Hull area.

Although this kind of advertising is not yet widely available, McGreevy believes that it is a medium that could have a huge impact in future years.

"Companies such as Publicis are beginning to push back the boundaries of interactive TV, and the charity sector can really benefit from jumping on board,

he said. "The potential for interactive fundraising is huge, and it's important for the sector to recognise this and adapt accordingly.

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