United Nations Promo, Case study UNSELFISH STATUS by Ingo Stockholm

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Industry Charities, Foundations, Volunteers, Human Rights
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Sweden
Agency Ingo Stockholm
Creative Director Bjorn Stahl
Art Director Timo Orre
Copywriter Per-Olof Lundgren
Released August 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Social Media
Product/Service: CHARITY
Creative Director: Björn Ståhl (Ingo Stockholm)
Art Director: Timo Orre (Ingo Stockholm)
Copywriter: Per-Olof Lundgren (Ingo Stockholm)
Planner: Thomas Weigle (Ingo Stockholm)
Planner: Josefine Billström (Ingo Stockholm)
PR: Isak Hagen (Ingo Stockholm)
Web Designer: Sanna Nilsson (Ingo Stockholm)
Web Designer: Fredrik Lundberg (Ingo Stockholm)
Account Manager: Oscar Corsvall (Ingo Stockholm)
Advertiser's Supervisor: Jonas Nyström (United Nations Associations - Sweden)
Media placement: Social media - Facebook - October 25th, 2010

Summary of the Campaign
This project was created to increase awareness of the United Nations’ various initiatives, while at the same time recruiting contributors and supporters. And, with a minimal budget, traditional advertising was out of the question. The result: Unselfish status updates.

The strategy was to use social media to engage people by letting them support causes they cared for, but we also needed a way of spreading the message. The idea was simple: get people to pay for something that is absolutely free, while at the same time getting them to do our advertising for us.

The insight behind this is that people use status updates on Facebook as a form of social currency. We boast about how great we are in every aspect of life. What if we could harness this narcissism and use it for a greater good?

The solution: "Buy an unselfish status update."
Starting from €2, users could buy status updates talking about how they cleared mines in Congo, or handed out school lunches in Bangladesh etc.

The campaign was a huge success. Not only did thousands of people pay to spread UNA Sweden’s message, the number of supporters on Facebook also increased by 470%.

The Situation
Although a well-known international organisation, not many people are aware of the fact that the United Nations is in need of donations. The general perception is that the UN gets its money from governments, not individuals. Furthermore not many are aware that the UN supports a wide spectrum of projects, from urgent disaster relief efforts, to rebuilding communities long after disaster has struck.

UNA Sweden is a local organisation supporting the UN’s work through contributions from individuals and organisations. The challenge for UNA Sweden is that their marketing funds are close to zero, making traditional advertising impossible.

The Goal
The goal was to increase awareness about the UN’s work and that the UN is dependent on contributions from individuals to fund their work. Two criteria for success were established:
a) Get new contributors from target groups not traditionally donating money.
b) Recruit new supporters for UNA Sweden.

The target group was basically all adults in Sweden, but with a skew towards people under 40 years of age – traditionally not the typical donor profile. This target audience was selected to lower the average age of the UNA Sweden supporters.

Due to the limited budget, no external research was conducted.

The Strategy
With a minimal budget and a complex goal including driving both awareness and recruiting supporters, we would have to leverage people’s social networks in one way or another.

During the process, we came to the insight that status updates on Facebook work a bit like a social currency. People tend to be quite narcissistic and boast about what they do and what they buy. What if we could get them to actually boast about something good, such as their contribution to UNA Sweden?

With status updates like "Going to Paris this Weekend, will be awesome!" the value of such an update was close to nothing. If anything, boastful updates seemed to annoy friends.

By allowing people to pay for a status update that contributed to a better world, the strategy was to bring back value to the updates, while also leveraging people’s personal networks.

We created a concept called "Unselfish status." Through UNA Sweden’s Facebook page, you simply purchased a status update from a broad range of projects that the UN are involved in. These ranged from clearing mines and supporting human rights to handing out food packets. The broad range of status updates available meant anyone could find a project that they wanted to support.

By donating between €2 and €10, you bought a status update that was published just like a regular status update on your Facebook wall page, only this one read:

"John Knight is teaching former child soldiers to read and write in Bukavu, Congo."

The status update featured a link, directing friends who saw the status to UNA Sweden’s page where they too could purchase an Unselfish status. As the campaign ran during Christmas time, it was possible to give away status updates to friends and family.

Documented Results
The campaign was an instant success, with thousands of people spreading the word to hundreds of thousands friends. All of a sudden we had people not only paying for something that is normally free, but also paying to do our advertising for us. UNA Sweden recruited lots of new supporters: the increase in Facebook fans was a staggering 470%. The campaign also got recognition in national media broadcasts.