WORKSHOP: CASE STUDY - Marie Curie's ads undergo a face-lift


Project: Marie Curie Cancer Care DRTV, press and poster campaign

Agency: Target Direct/MBA

Background: Cancer charity Marie Curie has been testing new methods of recruitment following the decline in effectiveness of traditional tools such as door-to-door and cold direct mail campaigns.

The charity also wanted to use a new campaign to boost the profile of Marie Curie nurses who work through the night and to promote their work with cancer patients. Target Direct was commissioned to create a direct response TV (DRTV) ad to test the effectiveness of the medium and to see how supporters responded to the ad's call to action. The first ad was launched on 4 March to coincide with the charity's annual daffodil day when public awareness of the charity would be high. It ran for two weeks on satellite and terrestrial TV. The company had previously worked with Target Direct on legacy marketing.

Aim of the campaign: The aim of the campaign was to reach a wider base of potential donors and encourage new supporters to give £3 a month to Marie Curie.

The DRTV campaign was also designed to raise awareness of Marie Curie's key activities and to show donors how their money would make a difference to individual cancer suffers.

Creative: A 70-second ad was created showing a Marie Curie nurse, Catherine Le Roy, caring for a cancer patient. A voice-over by the husband of the patient explains the importance of having a Marie Curie nurse to attend to his wife at home throughout the night.

Pop star Toyah Wilcox recorded a voice-over for the ad, which states that tonight someone is alone with cancer. The ad explains Marie Curie's work to enable people to die with dignity in a place of their choosing.

Currently, the charity only reaches one in two people with cancer who want to die at home. The voice-over explains that, by giving £3, the donor could ensure that another Marie Curie nurse would be able to care for a patient that night.

The DRTV ad also provided information about Marie Curie's hospices and how the charity uses donations to fund research.

Media used: A national press, poster and radio campaign was run alongside the DRTV ad. The ads ran in national newspapers and on billboards. They used the faces of cancer sufferers with the tagline "I Don't Want Your Flowers on my Grave

to convey that a lot can be done to help terminal cancer patients have a better quality of life.

Results: Over 70 per cent of the calls taken by Marie Curie resulted in money being pledged and 80 per cent of the calls made were successfully answered. Following a review of the campaign, the charity will be looking to run future DRTV fundraising campaigns.

"The success of this ad goes far beyond its results,

said Sarah Tite, head of supporter development at Marie Curie. "The opportunities for people to see the ad and, therefore, hear about our work cannot be underestimated.

We also now have 70 seconds of footage that goes straight to the heart of Marie Curie's work, telling the viewer why they should support the charity."

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