Poppy Appeal's new look will target the 'Afghanistan generation'

Royal British Legion's new face 'Poppy' fronts online campaign aimed at young adults

Royal British Legion 'Poppy', the face of 2009's Poppy Appeal online
Royal British Legion 'Poppy', the face of 2009's Poppy Appeal online

The Royal British Legion has created a virtual character called Poppy who will act as the new face of the charity, in a bid to attract younger supporters.

The character will be the host for the charity's new microsite and virtual world Legion Live, which will be launched in early November.

Poppy will write blogs, leave comments in chat forums and post messages on social networking sites Twitter and Facebook.
The charity hopes that Poppy, who is aged 32 and whose brother and grandfather have served in the armed forces, will encourage users aged between 25 and 45 to engage more closely with its work.

Legion Live will also allow users to tour a virtual world in which they can look at war memorials using Google Street View and visit a ‘cinema', where clips about the charity's work will be available to view.

Robert Lee, head of media and campaigns at the Royal British Legion, said: "Our traditional supporters tend to be older and do not use the internet a lot. But we also have a huge reservoir of supporters outside this group. We need to build that base.

"Poppy represents the type of person we are hoping to attract. She has an emotional back story – users will be able to interact with her."

Lee declined to reveal how much the charity had spent on the project, but said it had cost a lot of money. The Royal British Legion was planning to spend significantly on servicing it in the next year, he said.

The legion hopes Legion Live will attract 150,000 users over the next three years. 

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