Case Study: British Heart Foundation

Our expert is impressed by the charity's Valentine's Day campaign that urged people to get 'reddy' for work

Gabby Logan
Gabby Logan

Campaign: Red for Heart

Agency: In-house

Background: The British Heart Foundation wanted to establish a major annual fundraising campaign after research identified the need for an initiative that would increase the charity's visibility.

It wanted to create a campaign that was fun, engaging and easy for people to take part in.

What was done?

The BHF decided to use its red brand colour as the central theme of an annual National Heart Month every February.

For the first event earlier this year, the organisation launched a new website and held promotions in its shops. The focal point was 13 February, which it designated Wear Red to Work Day.

People were invited to download fundraising kits from the Red for Heart website, which also included interactive elements such as a photo gallery, event listings and a messageboard.

The BHF's charity shops were also involved in the campaign, encouraging people to write love notes on hearts displayed in shop windows.

Results: The target was to raise £1m over the course of February and generate 475 pieces of press coverage. The campaign raised a final total of £1.4m on expenditure of £383,380.

The net profit for the campaign of just over £1m was higher than any previous BHF fundraising campaign.

It also more than doubled its media target, receiving 1,081 pieces of coverage. More than 1,000 organisations held Wear Red to Work Days, and an external survey revealed 44 per cent of the public were aware of the campaign.

The supporting website was used to download a combined total of 4,699 fundraising kits.

Paul Jarvis


EXPERT VIEW - Quinn McKew, Management consultant, The Management Centre

The British Heart Foundation has designed an effective campaign that ticks a number of boxes for me: a fun approach, a strong web presence, impressive coordination on messaging and a fitting tie-in with Valentine's Day.

By providing a downloadable kit for fundraisers, the BHF allowed participants to be creative and get involved in their own way and time. This strategy is very appealing to modern campaigners.

Awareness levels were high, but I'd like to see how awareness of the campaign translated into awareness of the issue and whether there were any measures to encourage behavioural change tied into the campaign.

Expert rating
Creativity: 5
Delivery: 3
8 out of 10

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