Macmillan Cancer Support

The cancer charity has teamed up with 1990s fitness guru Mr Motivator to launch a campaign that encourages people to take on sponsored challenges

Mr Motivator for Macmillan Cancer Support's campaign
Mr Motivator for Macmillan Cancer Support's campaign

- This article was clarified on 14 December - see final paragraph

What is it?

The campaign, which was launched on 4 January, challenges people to take part in Macmillan events such as climbing Kilimanjaro, organising a Big Sports Day or completing a 72-hole golf day. To get them motivated, the charity’s website features a video of Mr Motivator performing some lunges in his trademark fluorescent lycra while imploring us to get fit, have fun and raise money for charity.

What’s happening online?

The charity contacted 39 unsuspecting celebrities on Twitter, sending them a link to a YouTube video that contained a message personally addressed to them from Mr Motivator. The fitness expert told opera singer Katherine Jenkins: "You're fabulous. You looked hot in Doctor Who. You have the best looking body I've seen in a long time." To DJ Christian O’Connell he said: "You’ve got a body for radio, but we want to bring you out!"

Who’s getting involved?

Macmillan ambassador Jenkins, Stylist magazine, O’Connell and Sam Baker, the editor of Red magazine, all retweeted, saying how much they enjoyed the videos and encouraging others to retweet. Gordon Smart, the editor of The Sun’s Bizarre supplement, wrote an article about the campaign on 5 January and a Sun Online piece linking to Macmillan’s Mr Motivator page.

What impact has it had?

There have been more than 90,000 Twitter views so far and an Advertising Value Equivalency in The Sun and Sun Online of £12,626.

How will they build on the campaign?

Macmillan will use the seeding agency Vizeum to generate further interest. The aim is to get more than 50,000 YouTube hits by the end of January.

Third Sector verdict:

Macmillan has cleverly engaged different target audiences through the range of celebrities it's tweeted. The personalised messages prompt celebrities to raise awareness through retweeting, and people are tempted to watch all of the videos, imagining each celebrity’s reaction. This sense of Mr Motivator making outspoken contact with celebrities encapsulates nicely the sense of spontaneous fun at the heart of the campaign.


  • Although the Big Sports Day is listed on Macmillan's website as one of its fundraising activities, it is not planning to run any more

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