Case study: The Mo Farah Foundation

Medallist's charity encouraged people to upload their own 'Mobot' videos

Mo Farah
Mo Farah

The Mo Farah Foundation called on the public to Do the Mobot, its founder's now legendary pose, as part of a campaign to raise awareness for the charity in the wake of last summer's Olympic Games.

The campaign involved Farah, who won gold medals in the 10,000 and 5,000 metres at the London games, launching a new dance craze in a bid to raise money for his charity, which provides aid to children in east Africa. Farah was born in Somalia.

In a video, made as part of the campaign, Farah encourages the public to follow a series of dance moves that include the "lunge", the "look-back" and the "Mobot", all inspired by his running style. He then asks them to film and upload their own versions to YouTube and donate to the charity.

"The idea came up after the success of the Olympics and the way the nation got behind Mo's celebratory pose," says Diana Nell, senior operations officer at the foundation. "We wanted to combine it with something that could raise money and awareness of the charity and have a bit of fun at the same time."

Engaging the public was a key element of the campaign, says Nell: "Making the campaign interactive encouraged them to get involved."

External agencies that worked on the campaign included Beige London, Fifty6media, Outbrain, and BBH.

The charity had the support of Virgin Media, which pledged to match all Do the Mobot video uploads with two pound coins, representing Farah's two gold medals. Celebrities also supported the campaign: famous faces including the footballer Jermaine Defoe, the boxer David Haye and Harlequins rugby players uploaded their own videos to YouTube.

"We are overwhelmed by the people who came on board," says Nell. "They took to Twitter to talk about the campaign and were instrumental in promoting it. A single tweet from Jermaine drove up traffic to the website by 80 per cent."

So far, 150 videos have been uploaded and the campaign is expected to close at the end of this month.

"We never forget the serious reason why we do campaigns such as this, which is to help our beneficiaries," says Nell. "But by making the campaign lighthearted you can reach more people. It helps when your charity is founded by someone like Mo, who is passionate about the cause. That rubs off on people."

EXPERT VIEW - Vicki Maguire, creative director, Grey London

Vicki Maguire, creative director, Grey LondonWe're big fans of education through entertainment, and we know that it works, so getting Mo to take his message out of the charity arena and onto the dance floor is a good move, in our opinion. I do think it would have benefited from more of a social media push - its 413,000 YouTube views is solid enough, but it feels like that figure could have been much higher. With only 150 films submitted by the public, it feels very much like an under-exploited campaign.

That said, the whole thing is entertaining and there are some great bits of user-generated content there - not least Boris Johnson doing the Mobot.

They've got a good range of celebrities on board and a high-profile backer in Virgin Media - I just wish I had known about it sooner; I might even have made my own video.

Creativity: 3
Delivery: 2
5 OUT OF 10

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