Third Sector Awards: Marketing Campaign of the Year – WaterAid for 'The Girl Who Built a Rocket'

Awarded to a charity with the best marketing campaign. Examples might include the successful marketing of an organisation’s products, services or membership programmes.

Marketing Campaign of the Year – WaterAid for 'The Girl Who Built a Rocket'

What was the aim?

Access to clean water would help to prevent the deaths of more than 8,500 under-fives a year in Madagascar, freeing women and girls to access education and career opportunities rather than fetching water, and giving people more time to focus on farming. WaterAid wanted to put water at the heart of the news cycle, telling the story of the barriers blocking the yet-to-be-realised potential of the community in Madagascar.

What did it involve?

Three Mars missions were set to land on the planet in early 2021. The campaign centred on an animated film showing a young girl building a rocket in reaction to the news that billions are being spent to find water on Mars – despite the fact that nobody needs it there. The film also highlighted WaterAid’s work in Madagasgar, supporting communities to take control.

Media, planned and bought by The Kite Factory, included an exclusive partnership with Channel 4 television and video on demand, with peak spots in key programming. A spot during Channel 4 News on the evening a NASA mission to Mars landed ensured wide exposure. The campaign was also promoted across social media, YouTube and media platform Teads, and supported in WaterAid’s owned and earned channels.

What did it achieve?

An impressive 18 per cent uplift in cash and regular donations while the campaign was live helped WaterAid achieve its highest response rate in over a year. The launch of the film generated 162 pieces of coverage, with a reach of 15.6 million. There was a five per cent increase in people saying they would give £1 tomorrow if asked, with a 10 per cent increase in those who would give some or all of £25.

What did the judges say?

“This is a beautiful, inspiring campaign – I love the connection to a child's imagination to bring the audience closer to the cause.”


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