What is it:
The core idea behind the campaign is for companies to buy specially created video e-cards from Crisis to send in place of traditional company Christmas cards. Supporting businesses are able to brand the cards with their logos. It is hoped that the campaign will raise £600,000 to help fight homelessness this Christmas.
So what's different?
The charity has been running its Christmas card campaign since 1995 and has raised £9m in those 17 years. Last year's videos featured celebrities and had a pantomine theme – and the films have traditionally had a comic element. This year the charity has decided to feature eight people who have been helped by Crisis singing classic Christmas songs. As the camera pans out to reveal the set, each film ends with the strapline "With a little support, we can all be someone special", and a Christmas greeting.
A specialist microsite has been created that includes a preview of one of the cards and details of how the scheme works. The deadline to sign up for this year's campaign is 16 November.
The campaign is being backed by adverts in the Financial Times and supporters will be thanked in subsequent adverts in the paper.
Why is the charity doing it?
Leslie Morphy, chief executive of Crisis, said: "The Crisis Christmas cards feature real people who have been helped out of homelessness by Crisis. We hope that companies will find them moving and authentic and choose these e-cards to replace their usual paper Christmas card mailings. Not only will the money raised help us transform the lives of more homeless people, but there are also environment benefits because they are entirely digital."
Who's behind it?
The campaign is being run by creative agency Knifedge. It is the fourth year running that the agency has created the idea and built the fundraising microsite.
Third Sector verdict:
This is a simple, feel-good campaign that puts the charity's beneficiaries at its heart. As the camera pans out from the professional set and the backing track fades, the viewer becomes aware of how far the person who is singing has come with the help of the charity and how much brighter their future is. The campaign is perfectly timed as thoughts turn to Christmas, and it gives corporates an opportunity to do something good with their Christmas cards this year.