Cancer Research UK

The cancer charity has launched Britain's first fundraising Dryathlon

Cancer Research UK's Dryathlon campaign
Cancer Research UK's Dryathlon campaign

What is it?

The charity is launching a new fundraising campaign called Dryathlon™, which challenges social drinkers to take a month-long break from alcohol in January 2013. The campaign hopes to appeal to a younger male audience by focusing on the challenge of going dry for a month and the willpower it will require, rather than the health benefits.   

Those taking part, known as Dryathletes, will be encouraged to raise money for the charity’s research by getting sponsorship from friends and family, and/or pledging money they have saved by going dry for the month. There will also be the opportunity to purchase a Golden Pass for a suggested donation of £15, which will allow the owner to take 24 hours off – helpful for weddings, birthdays or those who just fancy a night off.

Anything else?  

The campaign will use a number of online and social media channels to support Dryathletes throughout the campaign – including a dedicated microsite, Facebook page and Twitter feed. Participants will be able to sign up, get support from fellow Dryathletes, form teams and see where they sit on the leaderboard. There will be motivational tips to keep them going and fundraising tips. The website features interactive add-ons such as the ‘alcohol calculator’, which allows Dryathletes to find out how much money and how many calories they are saving by going dry for January.

The campaign will run from 1 January to 31 January 2013. Registration began on 22 November at

How else is it being promoted?

The charity will be running an integrated marketing campaign to support Dryathlon and encourage awareness and registrations. Press adverts will appear across a range of targeted media, and there will be radio adverts, digital marketing and promotional beer-mats.                                                                                                                                                     

Why is the charity doing it?

Ed Aspel, head of innovation delivery at Cancer Research UK, said: "We know that many people already decide to go dry in January. With Dryathlon, we’re giving them an extra reason to stick to their guns and make it through the month. We’re hoping the challenge element of the campaign will help us appeal to an audience that's a bit different from many of our other campaigns. We are really excited to see how it goes."

Third Sector verdict:

It feels like the charity has really thought about its target audience and what will appeal to it. The home page sets out what's involved and how long each stage will take very clearly, and the fundraising page gives helpful tips that will encourage participants to keep raising money for the charity. The well-timed campaign capitalises on the fact many people give up alcohol for January as a new year resolution and encourages them to do it for a charitable cause.  

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