Television advert backs #GivingTuesday for the first time

Tuesday's event, in its third year in the UK, is being backed by adverts on Sky and BT Sport, and was made for free by the agency WPN Chameleon

Still from the Giving Tuesday advert
Still from the Giving Tuesday advert

A television advert is for the first time running on the channels Sky and BT Sport to promote the annual awareness-raising campaign #GivingTuesday, which takes place today.

The advert, which is the first broadcast in the UK to promote the campaign, was made for free by the creative agency WPN Chameleon.

#GivingTuesday, which began in the US in 2012 as an antidote to the commercialism of Black Friday, encourages people and businesses to do something charitable every year on the Tuesday after the US holiday of Thanksgiving.

The event, which is being led in the UK by the Charities Aid Foundation, is in its third year here.

Neither CAF nor WPN Chameleon were able to give a figure for how much the advert promoting the campaign might raise for charity, with a spokesman for CAF saying that it was more about increasing public participation in charities than securing donations per se.

The media house MI and the television channels Sky and BT Sport donated more than 100 spots of airtime to enable the advert to be broadcast for free from Sunday until the end of today. The actor Martin Clunes gave his time to record a voiceover and the musician Guy Farley provided the music at no cost.

The advert is composed of user-generated mobile phone clips in which ordinary people show how they will be supporting a charity on #GivingTuesday. WPN Chameleon said it hoped the advert would stand out among a sea of commercial spots.

Kim Roberts, campaign lead for #GivingTuesday at CAF, said: "This year the extra TV advertising exposure will bring the movement to the attention of millions of people, who can then support the causes they love."

More than £6,250 was donated every minute on Visa cards in the UK on last year’s Giving Tuesday, and £1.25m was raised on the online fundraising platform JustGiving.

CAF’s spokesman told Third Sector it was impossible to measure the exact amount raised by the UK event because people had given to a large number of causes in a multitude of different ways.

He said several platforms, including Virgin Money Giving, BT, PayPal and Local Giving, would again be releasing their own donation figures after this year’s campaign, which would help to give an indication of the total raised.

More than 1,500 UK charities and businesses are encouraging their employees, customers and supporters to take part in this year’s campaign today.

Events taking place to mark the occasion include a choir of MPs singing outside the Houses of Parliament to raise money for Syria, dozens of National Lottery winners building gingerbread playhouses filled with sweets and presents for charities, and eBay and QVC running special sales.

Several high-street retailers are taking part. Morrisons will be inviting every customer to add a charitable donation to their bill at the checkout, and the Royal Bank of Scotland RBS is donating £250,000 to charities supported by its employees and customers.

- Third Sector is retweeting selected Giving Tuesday messages from charities throughout the day. To be considered, let @ThirdSector know what you're doing and include the hashtag #GivingTuesday.

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