Kirsty Marrins: Top 10 digital charity campaigns of 2018, part 2

The top five of our annual list

Kirsty Marrins
Kirsty Marrins

Last week I revealed the first half of my top ten charity digital campaigns of 2018. Here’s part two, but which campaign will take the top spot?

5. RNIB – See Differently

For its 150th anniversary, the RNIB refreshed its brand, which it co-created with the sight-loss community. As part of the brand refresh, it produced a series of humorous videos, voiced by the actor Robert Webb, which asked people to see the person, not the sight loss.

Along with the videos, the charity produced a set of graphics that again played on humour. I think this was quite a bold step for the charity and I loved the tone of voice, the look and the feel. The changes have not only made the brand more modern and fresh, but they’re also really driving home the message that people with sight loss are more than their disability.

4. Refuge – Reverse Christmas poems

Christmas is a happy time spent with loved ones, but for some Christmas is a nightmare. Assault and domestic murders increase by 45 per cent over the Christmas period and go up by a third on Christmas Day itself. Refuge has partnered with the agency McCann Bristol to create three reversible Christmas poems that raise awareness of the increase in domestic violence during the festive period.

What at first looks like a lovely Christmas poem becomes something else entirely when read from the bottom up. The strapline reads "If your partner turns on you, turn to us". The campaign is being run across social media, radio, press and magazines. It’s so effective.

3. Tommy’s – #TogetherForChange

What starts as a joyous occasion turns into heartbreak for the one in four mothers who lose their baby either during pregnancy or birth. Tommy’s launched its #TogetherForChange campaign in July to help break the silence, and sometimes the shame, about losing a baby. The campaign also encourages those who have suffered the loss of a baby to share their experiences and hope that this will pave the way for greater awareness and more research to stop it happening.

As well as a video, Tommy’s has a campaign page with a host of videos tackling subjects such as getting pregnant again and remembering your baby. It also launched a community, Tommy’s Support Group, that is a safe space for people to connect and give and get support.

The campaign video has so far had more than 35,000 views on Facebook – for a page that has fewer than 60,000 likes, that's pretty impressive. More importantly, it’s getting people to open up.

2. Amnesty International – Through the eyes of a refugee

We know that charities have experimented with technology such as virtual reality and augmented reality so people can empathise and engage with the cause. Amnesty International took this to a whole new level by hypnotising people and filming it.

The resulting video is more than five minutes long, which on social media shouldn’t really work, but it’s so compelling that you can’t take your eyes off it. Five people undergo hypnosis to take the same journey that 29-year-old refugee Marwa took from Syria to get to the Netherlands. It’s really harrowing watching them react to the situation they find themselves in – it’s very real. On Facebook alone it’s been viewed 1.6 million times and shared almost 28,000 times.

1. War Child UK – Escape Robot

My top spot goes to a campaign that was launched way back in January. It wins my top spot because I can’t stop thinking about it, not to mention that it’s won six international awards and has been seen by more than three million people.

It’s arguably one of the most powerful pieces of content I’ve ever seen. Can you believe that it all started with the advocacy team asking for a comms campaign based on a report on mental health and psycho-social support for children affected by war? What could have been just a PDF uploaded to its website was turned into this amazing campaign, including this long-form web page, which presented the 50-page report in an interesting and accessible way.

As Dave O’Carroll, head of digital, explained in an article for CharityComms, War Child UK didn’t want the campaign to be just a powerful video. It was part of a wider campaign that directed viewers to a landing page where they could read more detail and see stills and videos from the charity's programmes. Those who signed up to receive emails went on a supporter journey of five emails, which included video stories. This campaign really made me stop and think. Almost a year on, people are still talking about it and sharing the video.

War Child worked with Raw London on this campaign and wanted it to be a bit left-field and off the wall. So my tip for charities in 2019 is don’t be afraid to be bold.

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