The opportunity to have an eight-foot tall green ogre sing the praises of your charity is not one that corporate partnerships usually furnish.
The beneficiary of the endorsement, which occurred at the end of performances of Shrek The Musical in London's Theatre Royal Drury Lane in the last week of August, was the children's counselling charity the Place2Be. But the partnership was special not just because the rousing appeal to donate was made by, in turn, a large green monster, a princess and a donkey. It was also a rare chance for the charity to be introduced directly to the public.
Harry Lockyear, sales and marketing coordinator with DreamWorks Theatricals, the owner of the show, briefed the cast about the Place2Be, a charity that delivers counselling in 170 schools to children affected by issues such as family breakdown and bullying.
Two-minute endorsements for the charity were delivered after eight performances of the show. More than 20,000 people were reached and £10,036 was raised, an amount matched by DreamWorks Theatricals.
But donations were not the only benefit. "As a charity, we don't have that much brand recognition," says the Place2Be's fundraising manager, Olivia Curno, who describes the Theatre Royal crowd as "our perfect target audience".
The charity does have several corporate partnerships - mainly with banks, such as UBS and JP Morgan - but the DreamWorks partnership was different. "What this has given us, which we haven't had so much of in the past, is an opportunity to talk directly to the public," says Curno.