Focus: Campaign of the week - Nabs is driven by the rule of thumb

Ashley Mastandrea, ashley.mastandrea@haynet.com

Nabs is hoping to attract the 'fun-loving' media industry with its first annual Thumb War. The charity, which provides support to people in the marketing and communications industry and their dependants, is asking creative types to dress up their thumbs as wrestlers and submit a picture to vie for the title of Nabs Thumb War Champion.

To take part, each participant will need to use their 'thumb power' to send a £3 donation text message. In return, they will receive an access code that will allow them to introduce their thumb wrestler on the competition's site, post a photo and advertise their best move in a bid to become the first year's champion.

The charity is promoting the campaign with a viral advert in which a pint-sized, unruly thumb war announcer urges viewers to "put your money where you fun is!"

Pictures of the five finalists chosen by Nabs and Blac, which created the contest, will be displayed online at www.nabsthumbwar.com from 3 July.

Visitors to the site will then be able to vote for their favourite by text message, the cost of which will include a donation. The overall Thumb War winner will receive 10 cases of Budweiser, with two cases for each of the four runners-up.

Nabs is also encouraging advertising agencies to set up Thumb Wars in their own workplaces. It suggests charging colleagues £1 to take part and fight to become a Thumb War champ in their own offices.

The campaign represents a change of direction for Nabs, which has traditionally used event-based fundraising. "Change is in the air," said Chris Arnold, executive creative director at Blac. "We are pushing for new ways of doing things."

Arnold said he thought the campaign would work because Thumb War played up to the media industry's preference for fun giving.

The switch from event marketing to e-marketing will allow Nabs to work on a more modest budget and appeal to its target audience. "Other charities will take notice of this," said Arnold. "It's a good way to be brave in the charity market."

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