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Do blockbuster charity ads communicate the mission?

Blog GBM Blog Do blockbuster charity ads communicate the mission? image

 

Four new mega charity TV ads have come out in the last few weeks. Save the Children, Barnardo’s, Age UK and Macmillan. It’s a tough time for most charities but these four look well funded.

 But do they deliver and communicate the mission? Which is often tough as most charities deliver their mission through policy work. Let’s find out.

“If London was Syria” for Save the Children, with Natasha Kaplinsky, is all about the effects of war with the line ‘just because it isn’t happening here doesn’t mean it isn’t happening”. Coinciding with three years after the Syria Crisis began (yes three years!), this is bang on Save the Children’s mission, about saving children’s lives, helping when disasters strike and giving them the best start. My only beef, the idea of wars in your backyard was done better in a Costwolds village scene in Unwatchable, a story about conflict minerals in Congo.

Next up is Barnardo’s new TV ad about Ellie’s life of being told ‘she’s no good’ and her desperate need to make some things stop, which can all be ‘conquered’ with Barando’s support. ‘Believe in children’ is exactly what this is about and again in the sweet spot for their mission.

‘Life flies’, the beautiful new ad from Age UK, is about being valued. It shows life’s journey from ‘0-100’. I love this ad. I wanted to donate immediately to Age UK. It’s clever, enjoy life’s journey, as it goes in a blink, so you may as well enjoy it all. Age UK aims to improve ‘later life’ for everyone and this TV ad is all about making the most of later life.

‘No one should face cancer alone’ from Macmillan Cancer Support goes from strength to strength, showing the importance of support to those who need it most. And it quietly celebrates those who ‘support’ the most; mums, donors, careers, at one point all in one scene – it doesn’t get more powerful. No one should face cancer alone and Macmillan Cancer Support strives to improve the lives of people affected with cancer. Mission accomplished.

All four ads do deliver the mission. Seeing the extraordinary in the everyday. Agencies love charity work, they mine for an insight, a minutia blown up to dramatise how your money can help.

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Posted 28 March 2014 | No comments

Curtis is counting on your support

arts-graphics-2007_1176999aRichard Curtis can persuade anyone to do anything, particularly when it comes to doing good.   A life defining moment for him was setting up and running Comic Relief as a young man.

He sees the world through the prism of doing good – which is refreshing. Particularly in our times where cut backs are made, corners are cut and the squeeze usually hits the people at the bottom of the tree, most likely workers in the developing world.

He asked us all to do things that make a difference to others within our work.  He appealed for people to see their roles as bigger than the day job – to have a vision that connects with part of the world. Like Unilever and Sainsbury’s doing their bit, he showed ASOS’s and newer brands of today how they could show more responsibility.

 What advice can we take from Richard Curtis:

- You have to have the confidence in what you are doing

- As a creative, achieving one good thing in day is a triumph (but you have to have the ability to self edit)

- The thing that amuses you will probably work

- Pick the right people – the wrong people can lead to angst

- Empower others do to creative things

- There is a rare exceptions to David Ogilvy’s “where people aren’t having any fun, they seldom produce good work” with Black Adder, which was apparently ghastly to work on and Mr Bean, which was awful to work on too.

- Mine data audience insights but leave room for big instinct, which you can not ignore

- And if something is meaningful, it probably means it matters.

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Posted 11 February 2014 | No comments

My Trustometer

Who do we trust? Edelman – claiming to be the World’s largest public relations firm- launched their 14th Trust Barometer this week, looking at government, media and business across the globe. 27,000 thought leaders, professionals – we’re asked who they trusted and why? So I asked myself, who do I trust and why, to see if my very personal findings from these ten, chimed with Edelman’s findings?

my trustometer photo

1. Martin the milkman – our local milkman has become an institution, he always tells you what’s going on, lives for his job so much so, that he bought the business. Totally enthusiastic about life and his customers

2. My mum - mum’s only feedback what you are feeling, they are a time capsule of everything you are, what’s not to trust about that?

3. The Guardian - I believe it supports the underdog and wants to get to the heart of the issue

4. Fairtrade – ‘our global village shop’ ran by low paid farmers supplying their local produce, Fairtrade pay a fair price for this produce, giving them the opportunity to improve their environment and better educate their families

5. John Lewis – you know that they respect their relationship with you

6. Wikipedia – as it is written by people like you and me

7. The BBC – despite recent leadership issues and cover-ups, time and time again, they step-up to the mark

8. Sir David Attenborough - more to the point, what will we do when ‘his show’ is retired?

9. HRH Prince of Wales – he has put his money where his mouth is and believes in inspiring the next generation to care about our planet, people and wildlife

10. My local pub The Old Swan and Chiltern Brewery – both full of local goodness

images-3Three media, four which are kind of retail brands and three people! Ok, so no government Ministers. Each of these reflect aspects of the Edelman findings including:

- Showing their own quality (high quality products, for the most part, remains an important trust driver)

- Family feel (family owned and SMEs are the most trusted at 76% in EU)

- They are like you and me (62% said the most trusted source was a person like ‘yourself’, 15% points up  from 2013)

- Active and participate in “my community” (80% said ‘engagement’ and ‘integrity’ were trust builders)

- And most of all they listen and respond (actions that were ranked highest included communicating clearly and transparently by 82%. And 59% of people stated listening to customers would improve things, which was overall 28% above their actual performance).

Well at least it feels like they do. If businesses and government could do more of this, they would no doubt close the ‘trust gap’. 79% said businesses have permission to play a role in regulation and debate (but should consult with stakeholders like NGOs). NGOs still bring their own set of thinking, that in my view can never be ‘own labelled’. Fortunately, NGOS have retained their crown as the most trusted organisations.

But only just.

 

 

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Posted 24 January 2014 | No comments

Top 5 innovative Marketing In the UK

With the end of the year fast approaching we thought it might be interesting to look at some of the UK’s most innovative marketing campaigns from the past few months.

 

1. Tourettes Action

 

Tourette action Campaign 2013

Tourettes Action is the UK’s leading support and research charity for those suffering with Tourettes and their families.

They successfully launched an email campaign called “Fu*k the Firewall” in order to combat prejudice surrounding the syndrome. Littered with swear words placed upside down to avoid being filtered out by firewalls, the email highlighted the barriers faced by Tourettes sufferers who society often tries to filter out in an analogous way.

The campaign utilized a subtitle but effective analogy, which provoked thought on the topic and led people to question assumptions they may have made themselves. The email was forwarded to countless individuals and furthermore became a topic of discussion throughout the social media network.

 

2. The Barnardos and Argos Toy Exchange

 

2.	The Barnardos and Argos Toy Exchange campaign 2013

The toy exchange called for people to donate their unwanted toys to the Barnardos children’s charity in exchange for a £5 voucher off new toys bought from high street store Argos. The donated toys were then sold by the charity to raise funds for projects which support disadvantaged children.

The campaign was appealing as it benefitted a variety of people in a way which required little public effort. Although still ongoing the campaign aims to raise £1 million for Barnardos.

3. Read for RNIB Day

 

Read for RNIB Day campaign 2013

The Royal National Institute of Blind People are a charity offering information, support and advice to people suffering with sight loss.

In August they launched a train and tube poster campaign to gain support for their ‘Read for RNIB Day’. The posters, placed on platforms and alongside escalators, depicted the page of a book obscured by dark patches of colour. The aim was to encourage people to consider how much the ability to read means to them.

The posters gave the public the opportunity to empathise with those who suffer from sight loss, thus lending more sympathy to the goals of the campaign. The posters were seen by an estimated 40 million people throughout its two months run.

4. The Red Cross and SimCity

 

The Red Cross and SimCity campaign 2013

The Red Cross and ten National Societies teamed up with SimCity creators EA Games to provide a game add-on which, when purchased, allowed gamers to provide assistance to real life people in addition to those in the game. A minimum of 80% of the retail price went to the participating societies. The gamer also received relief tents and vehicles to aid injured sims in their game.

The add-on was optional so gamers were under no pressure to participate, however those who did were given the opportunity to do a good deed with very little action on their part. The partnership aims to raise at least $100,000 for the societies involved.

5. RNLI and the Harlem Shake

 

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution provides a 24 hour search and rescue service around the coast of the UK and Ireland, in addition to providing lifeguard services.

Taking advantage of the internet craze of videos filmed with the Harlem Shake song, the RNLI produced a video which saw them dancing to the internet sensation at their Poole lifeboat base. They entered the video in to the ‘Charity Shake Off’ contest.

The video referenced and became a part of a worldwide viral craze and both promoted the work of the charity and contributed towards the promotion of an easy-going, down to earth image. The video has received over 40,000 views to date.

 

 

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Posted 17 January 2014 | No comments

LBC interview Giles Robertson – entrepreneur, founder and Managing Director

Interviewed for LBC in a special report, Giles Robertson, founder and Managing Director of Green Banana Marketing discusses his companies’ day-to-day work in the agency. Also, the pleasure he and the team have of working at the O2 Workshop in Central London.

The O2 Workshop on Tottenham Court Road offers a pleasant working environment for Green Banana Marketing to deliver for Clients including Salix Finance, Buglife, Bat Conservation Trust and Fairtrade Foundation, who also love the space.

We aim for a greener, fairer and more sustainable world, working with our clients. GBM is trying to follow this philosophy in their day-to-day work and the workshop helps deliver here, as it is a more efficient and effective space for all!

 click on the photo to listen Giles interview

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted 27 November 2013 | No comments

The Green Deal: Marketing Challenge or Lost Cause?

 

At first glance the Green Deal seems like a great scheme to become involved in. But then why is it that after 9 months and over 70,000 assessments, only 12 homeowners have benefitted from actual changes to their property?

The Green Deal is largely suffering from a miscommunication of ideas and a reluctance to get involved in a scheme which seems to add to personal debt for the sake of none but the environment; that big green thing that so few care to help unless it is mutually beneficial.

The pressing question we must ask now is what can the minds behind the Green Deal do, if anything, to change these misconceptions and remove the growing stigma around their initiative? Many have attempted to answer this question; the All-party parliamentary group for excellence in the built environment determined that the scheme will struggle to succeed “without additional incentives to encourage action”; editor of Business Green James Murray proposed that a partnership with the help to buy scheme could prove beneficial; whereas Money Saving Expert founder Martin Lewis maintains that the scheme would benefit from several minor changes such as shorter loan repayment lengths and a removal of the assessment fee.

All of these amendments would doubtless attract new interest to the scheme, however all constitute relatively large changes, many of which are not possible for the initiative to take.

It seems the scheme is destined to endure a lengthy struggle towards uncertain success in the future, however would comparatively minor changes help in any way to avoid this?

Could the focus change from the “loan” status of the initiative to the fact that the homeowner’s monthly costs are unlikely to increase in spite of the loan? And furthermore that once loan repayments are fully made monthly energy bills are likely to reduce significantly?

Could it be made clearer that the debt incurred is not personal? Or that the repayments are taken automatically through your energy supplier and so no additional bills will be added to your monthly administration?

The Green Deal has been subjected to a lot of negativity, and many are keen to offer advice about how best to remedy this; with large, policy changing alterations and additions to the benefits already offered. Few seem eager, however, to entertain the idea that the Green Deal has the potential to benefit many as it stands, and may simply need to place a strengthened focus on these benefits, while simultaneously removing some of the focus on factors which property owners may interpret as unattractive.

It seems apparent to me that were the Green Deal Finance Company to implement one or more of the following methods when promoting their scheme, they would receive at least heightened interest, if not participation;

  • A clearer, simpler explanation of exactly what it is they are offering, as offered by many external websites – http://goo.gl/Ru8T5V
  • A stronger focus on the potential benefits for the property owner, as opposed to the environment.
  • A diminished focus on the potentially off-putting elements of the scheme
  • The use of media to flag up the positives of the scheme
  • The provision of greater customer feedback portals, and extensive involvement in the discussion generated.

The scheme undoubtedly has positive and negative aspects, as all schemes do, however what seems both positive and negative for the Green Deal is that each plus point will be deemed negative by some, and each negative point will be deemed positive by others. The Green Deal thus finds itself in the awkward position of being relatively complex in addition to providing varied benefits. Though not a lost cause, it seems a lot needs to be done to move the spotlight from pitfalls to positivity.

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Posted 30 October 2013 | 1 comment

Learnings for charities ‘building brands on and offline’

“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well”

Jeff Bezos, CEO at Amazon

Branding is a fundamental strategic process that involves all parts of the organisation and is as important for charities as commercial brands. It is for the most part no longer seen as a ‘dirty word’ for charities. Today, more than ever, charities must build the essence of their brand to retain and engage people behind the living ‘charity brand’.

The brand must always deliver value defined in consumer terms. It is a continuing and evolving relationship with users and must be maintained as a living organism.

As noted by Aaker, David Ogilvy said, “brands are part of the fabric of life” where Jeremy Bullmore said, “just about the only thing brands have in common is a kind of fame”. Brands are sometimes contradictory and mean different things do to different people- McDonald’s as part of everyday life, but is it famous? Porsche is famous but is it part of your life?

International brands can also lose touch if marketers do not maintain relationships and keep the brand alive and relevant to their consumers. O2, Waitrose, Bulmer and Samsung innovate in terms of the branding experience and through the customer journey, diversification and delivering green initiatives. Some brands like Tesco, Starbucks and Apple have seen their brand de-valued because of a lack of innovation, authenticity, soul and customer focus.

Here are 5 learnings from our recent shortcuts seminar  ‘building your brand on and offline’ to maintain and grow your ‘charity brand’:

1. Build your charity brand foundation. Answer four simple questions about your brand:

-       What is its personality (image)

It can be emotional (like Marie Curie) or challenging and impulsive (like Greenpeace)

-       What are your aims

-       What is its function

-       What techniques do you use

-       What is unique

The Cure Parkinson’s Trust aim is clearly represented in its name, it is to cure people suffering from Parkinson’s disease. The Trust finds a way – see their video ‘how to orchestral Parkinson’:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBHzMMzliFA to explain something scientific and complicated in a humorous and simple way that transports viewers.

2. Communicate around your brand

Communication should be consistent (and constant).  Use all the relevant communication tools available to increase your brand visibility and hopefully audiences will identify with your charity brand. Innovate and try news things with ads, direct mail, PR, events, street marketing and so on.

3. Add value to your brand

Make alliances with companies and connect your cause to products. This has worked well for Whiskas and WWF Help Protect a Tiger.

Involve and give your supporters control to make them feel part of the project.

Adnams, the ethical brewery increased its communication by 80%.

It expanded its activities, created special ‘green’ beers like Fat Sprat and is involved in different communities and environmental projects.

 

4. How to deliver offline

Make sure your own people know what’s happening – your main ambassadors. Cultivate your partnerships; raise internal and external awareness through events and internal communication to maintain your charity brand.  Street and experiential marketing are new ways of delivering  (sampling, street theatre, experience and so on).

The Feed SA experiential campaign increased donations for disadvantaged people throughout South Africa. Placing decals showing hungry children begging for food in shopping carts, made it easy for shoppers to help “feed the hungry people”.

 

 

 

 

5. How to deliver online

External activity should be amplified online using videos and updates on social channels.

Buglife, the invertebrate charity, reviewed its brand identity, and we’ve helped build a more efficient website around their brand. Using personas and users journeys helped keep it relevant to their key audiences. Everything was created to make the brand stronger online and to involve the audiences.  We refreshed the navigation and brand colours and all pages are device sensitive.  The objectives are to increase members and to get more kids involved with activities to make the brand stronger. The new website is going live in early September.

To be continued….


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Posted 9 September 2013 | 2 comments

2 Degrees Network Award Ceremony

A balmy evening at Lord’s cricket ground was the perfect backdrop for a ceremony and dinner to celebrate the sustainability successes of organisations, large and small. Kim Bailey, Associate Sustainability Practitioner and Giles Robertson Founder and Managing Director of Green Banana Marketing attended the event last week on the 10th of July.

Seeing so many people representing their companies with pride was a joy to witness. The winnerscame from an array of small-impassioned companies showcasing technological advances in energy and water management and even space technology in the case of Arla Foods.  The glitz and glamour of the big companies came in the form of prizewinners, O2, RBS and Sky.

Fabulous food and drink, interesting conversations and a witty comedian made for a super evening.

And now the but ….I joined a networking group, so more facilitated networking and partnering opportunities with this interesting group of guests would be appreciated.

How about a safari style supper – swapping places between courses?

Our lovely client Buglife was keen to share how the invertebrate charity preserves the wildlife that turn the cogs of the planet, but with no name badges and penguin suits, we couldn’t find the people we wanted to speak to.

Martin Chilcott, Chair of 2degrees spoke of the importance of fun and values.

 

Here are Green Banana’s top tips for injecting more of both for next year:

  • Make it snappy – The winners had all chosen songs to collect their trophies by – great idea! How about using them for therather ‘worthy’ entry categories?  Or poems, or film titles.Share – Showcase the way companies are doing business differently to conventional organisations.
  • Shine – Let’s hear the sustainability champions talk.  They will all have a tale to tell.  The case studies should be available on the night.
  • Stars – Funny’s great.  Inspirational is better.  There are some great sustainability talkers out there who make you feel you can reach for the stars not just admire them
  • Fun and Games – laughing at jokes is great.  What’s more fun is interaction – how about using the great Lords’ lawns for after dinner croquet. Or a treasure trail, rather than a quiz?
  • Smart’s great – but comfortable is better and so much more individual, so trust us to turn up looking OK.
  • Variety is the spice – If sustainability is going to be embedded in companies, let’s talk to the unconvinced as well as the converted.  We need a few more finance directors on the guest list.

So a super evening and if we get the chance to meet a few more guests, exchange and share vision and values and have more fun next year – a truly great evening will be had by all.


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Posted 19 July 2013 | No comments