Charities often need to use blunt messaging to convey uncomfortable truths and jolt consumers into action. “By the time you have finished reading this paragraph, another three children will have…. ” or something like this. Blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan tried something courageously different.
In the build up to the General Election, Anthony Nolan decided to take a new approach to engage the 18-30 year old males they need to attract to join their donor register. They sponsored a Captive Media game.
The Election game, named by them as “Wee the People”, challenged men to aim tomatoes at the leaders’ of the seven political parties using our unique gaming tech. A direct hit on an ‘M-Pee’ registered as one vote in the poll of unpopularity, and all votes were tallied online in real time to produce a running ‘anti-poll’ of the leader’s standings.
Anthony Nolan wove a serious message around the fun of the game with a call-to-action after the game ended. Richard Davidson of Anthony Nolan explains, “It’s light-hearted but it’s got a really serious message behind it. If we can cut through to young men and get young men to hear what Anthony Nolan is about, they more likely to go on and join the register”
In the 14 days the game ran in the run up to Election day, 163,896 men cast their votes. A total of 512,480 tomatoes were thrown (and you can see who received the most here – although you can probably guess).
As our video case study shows, they overwhelmingly not only loved the game, but told friends about it, creating a huge word of mouth magnifier. They also recalled Anthony Nolan’s sponsorship – many of them becoming aware of the charity for the first time.
The press also took notice. Reuters and RTL sent film crews to cover the game launch, Brand Republic, The Guardian, Lifehacker and Wallblog all wrote about the game, calling it “a brilliant piece of technology”. Brand republic added “unlike social media numbers, these are all real because they can’t be faked.” The Guardian hailed this new form of digital ‘real world’ engagement as “increasingly important as it reaches beyond social media. … attracting attention and ultimately creating something that people want to share with their networks”.
But all of this pales beside the ultimate test of impact – did it make anyone sign up? And the figures from Anthony Nolan are just in. The campaign resulted in 23,531 web visitors, and 1572 Donor Registrations – a rise of 74.9%.