Case study: Concern Universal

The international development charity has devised a simple campaign to suit the festive season

Concern Universal's campaign asks people to dress up as Santa
Concern Universal's campaign asks people to dress up as Santa

Organisation: Concern Universal
Campaign: Suits You Santa
Agency: In house

Concern Universal's Suits You Santa campaign ran for the first time in 2013 and the charity believes the festive fundraiser has a lot of potential to help increase individual giving.

Fiona Taylor, major partnerships manager at the international development charity, says a lot was learned from the test campaign last Christmas, which involved asking people to dress up as Santa Claus over the festive period, wearing the suit to their Christmas party, their last team meeting of the year or just around the office.

The santas were encouraged to post their team's efforts on the campaign's microsite and on social media. It cost £15 to sign up to the campaign, which covered the £3.50 cost of the suit and postage, with the remainder going to help fund the charity's clean water project in Malawi. Taylor says the aim was to keep things simple, rather than ask participants to seek sponsorship.

The campaign raised £1,000 after 117 people signed up. Taylor says the charity had no marketing budget and this was its first foray into running an online campaign and using social media to promote it.

Plans for this year include linking Suits You Santa with the charity's annual fundraising event, the Santa Run. This took place last year near the charity's headquarters in Hereford and 190 people raised about £2,000.

Taylor says the campaign was an experiment for the charity. "It is part of raising our game generally," she says. "This year we will have a new website, so it will be exciting to launch the campaign with a bigger platform. The feedback on the campaign has been fantastic."

Sign-ups were in the 25 to 40 age group that the charity wanted to attract. The hope for the next festive season is that, by tying the campaign to Hereford, it will have a strong take-up locally and will then spread nationally through the power of social media. Taylor says it is aiming to recruit up to 1,000 participants.

Expert view: Jaz Nannar, Director, Burnett Works

What does it take to target people aged 25 to 40 in the workplace with just a tiny budget and no major brand behind you? It takes a simple proposition, the right tool and something that can be scaled up. Suits You Santa scores well on the simple proposition. The microsite is clean and light, but it belies the reality of parading around as Santa at work. How many of us would be prepared to do it? It might be worth testing to see if the sponsorship route could deliver a better return.

Expert rating
Creativity: 4
Delivery: 3
Total: 7 out of 10

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