Case study: ActionAid

The charity's first-ever regional campaign targeted Yorkshire, its most generous region. Our expert Shaun Crawford gives his view

Campaign: Yorkshire Means the World

Agency: Brahm


ActionAid discovered that a higher proportion of the participants in its child sponsorship programme lived in Yorkshire than in any other county. In October 2009, it launched a campaign to thank its existing supporters in the region and attract new support.

The campaign

The campaign included direct response adverts on local TV and radio stations, inserts and adverts in the local and regional press, cold direct mail and adverts on billboards and buses. It lasted for two weeks and was run by a Leeds-based PR firm that had a lot of local knowledge but little experience of working with charities.

ActionAid also organised a festival in Leeds city centre to raise awareness of the campaign. A small team of face-to-face fundraisers recruited new donors at the festival.

Why this approach?

Jennie York, supporter recruitment manager at the charity, says: "People living outside London often feel the larger, national charities are remote and London-focused. By doing this campaign, we learned that people in Yorkshire loved to see us being local."


The response rate for the press inserts was 192 per cent higher than for previous national campaigns, and the response rate from the TV adverts was 200 per cent higher than for national TV adverts.

The return on investment for the campaign was £2.80 for every £1 spent. "We didn't achieve the return on investment that we wanted, but we have learned a lot and we will do a regional campaign again," York says.

"We went in quite heavily on the digital side, with banner adverts and online PR, and it wasn't so fruitful," she says. "It's hard to use the internet locally, so we probably wouldn't invest so much in it in future regional campaigns."

By Kaye Wiggins


Expert View: Shaun Crawford, creative director, DMS

I really like ActionAid's regional strategy. I think it's very creative and inspiring.

For a campaign that ran for just two weeks, the results are impressive.

However, the lower-than-expected return on investment shows that something is not working quite as well as it could. I'm sure a closer look at the figures would help identify which channels raised the most money and which were the best for awareness-raising.

For me, the key insight was Yorkshire being the most generous region. I would suggest the struggle creatively has been to really capture this thought and make it believable to local people.

Some of this campaign's creative executions look like they are adapted from national appeals, although other areas - such as the website, for example - feel very locally focused and believable.

Overall, it's a brave and forward-thinking campaign. Once all the key learnings have been evaluated, I think this approach will work well in other regions.

Creativity: 3 out of 5

Delivery: 4 out of 5

7 out 10

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