Salvation Army Promo Salvation Army: DONATED SONGS by Wirz Werbung Zurich

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Salvation Army: DONATED SONGS

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Industry Charities, Foundations, Volunteers
Media Promo & PR
Market Switzerland
Agency Wirz Werbung Zurich
Executive Creative Director Philipp Skrabal
Creative Director Thomas Kurzmeyer
Art Director Chantal Heimo
Copywriter Andi Portmann
Producer Heinrich Reinacher
Released June 2011


Cannes Lions 2011
Promo & Activation Lions Best Use of Experiential Marketing in a Promotional Campaign Bronze
Promo & Activation Lions Charities Bronze

Credits & Description

Type of Entry: Use of Promo & Activation
Category: Best Use of Experiential Marketing in a Promotional Campaign
Advertiser/Client: SALVATION ARMY
Product/Service: CHARITY
Entrant Company: WIRZ/BBDO Zürich, SWITZERLAND
Sales Promotion/Advertising Agency: WIRZ/BBDO Zürich, SWITZERLAND

Executive Creative Director: Philipp Skrabal (Wirz / BBDO)
Creative Director: Thomas Kurzmeyer (Wirz / BBDO)
Art Director: Chantal Heimo (Wirz / BBDO)
Copywriter: Andi Portmann (Wirz / BBDO)
Direction: Simon Jaquement ()
Cinematographer: Lorenz Merz ()
Producer: Heinrich Reinacher (Markenfilm)

Describe the brief from the client:
During their traditional street collections, the Salvation Army sings the same well-known Christmas carols every year. This means the organisation is reaching fewer and fewer people and particularly lacks appeal to younger donators.

To reach a young target audience, our strategy was to make the Salvation Army appear surprisingly younger without losing its well-known singing tradition – after all, there are plenty of other musicians who have a lot of success with their songs.
Describe how the promotion developed from concept to implementation:
Our idea was to ask Swiss music stars whether they would be willing to donate one of their hit songs to the Salvation Army. Some of the most famous bands in Switzerland took part, allowing the Salvation Army to sing their songs for free, several of which had been number one hits in the Swiss singles charts.

This eventually enabled the Salvation Army to sing songs on the street from big-name stars who have an enormous fan base among young people in Switzerland. The Salvation Army was out rocking and rapping on the streets, attracting attention and giving it a younger image.
Describe the success of the promotion with both client and consumer including some quantifiable results:
The reporting carried out by TV and radio stations, newspapers and websites achieved 65% penetration countrywide. Achieving similar results using conventional advertising would have required a media budget of Swiss francs 550,000, i.e. seven times more than our entire communications budget.

The song donations were effective not only in the mass media but also out on the street. Young people reacted positively and the Salvation Army became a topic of conversation. It also helped to halt the slide and turn things around in terms of donations, which amounted to around Swiss francs 1.5 million, despite competition from other charities.
Explain why the method of promotion was most relevant to the product or service:
Everyone has seen the Salvation Army singing on the street. Everyone knows the hits that were donated. But the fact that the Salvation Army – which had always had a serious but slightly boring reputation – was out on the streets just like before but this time singing hit songs, confused people – but in a positive way. And that was despite the fact that the Salvation Army was out there doing what it does every year – namely singing.