BIG baby steps

We just launched a new charity.

Well technically it was launched in June, but this was its first introduction to the country as a whole and importantly,  to the people we hoped would donate and therefore make it a success. 

But first, some context.

Spend My Super is a new charity in New Zealand dedicated to helping to alleviate child poverty in the country by encouraging superannuants to donate some or all of their pensions through any one (or indeed all) of twelve established charities.  It’s a sort of meta charity and it attempts to direct a bit of the wealth at one end of the age range to poverty at the other.

It can do that by raising awareness and funds in ways that the existing and brilliant hard working on-the-ground charities can not.  It’s privately funded and dedicated solely to this task. All donations are passed through to the charities and no ‘ticket is clipped’ thanks to the generosity of its founder.  Full background story here and here’s my take on why it’s bloody vital that it makes an impact.

The basic idea though is a tricky sell.  How do you convince someone who might have worked hard all their life to give up some of their financial rewards for that long endeavour to benefit children they will almost certainly never meet?  Whilst not many are rich at retirement, some are comfortable enough that they don’t need the extra money (or not all of it) the government provides to everyone.  Superannuation, or pension, in New Zealand is not means-tested, which means it goes to rich and poor alike.

The ‘rich’ are too few on their own to make a difference with their pension monies, but the many that are comfortable enough at retirement to be able to spare some or all of their pension could make a big difference.  So our primary target was the comfortable middle of New Zealand’s superannuant population.

Our secondary target was, well, everyone else.

We wanted all our stakeholders to be aware we were deadly serious and here to stay and we wanted the kids, friends and relatives of the people we were targeting to know about Spend My Super and its objectives.

Hence the use of TV which still has a high penetration of 65 plus demographic and which remains a unique brand-building medium conferring legitimacy as well as cost-efficiency. It also allows the brave to be, well, brave.

We worked with creative agency Contagion on a brief we hoped would make our target group think that;  “By donating some or all of my superannuation to children in financial poverty, I can really make a difference to the future of NZ”.   Or that they were ‘starting someone else’s future’ and would visit the site and begin the process of consideration.  

We were also clear that we wanted to make an impact and force consideration and not be ignored.  Creative concept testing was done using Stickybeak (surprise, surprise) where we put three versions of the proposition to the target market and customised our approach accordingly.  Here’s the resulting spot:

Because the creative route was so distinctive we felt we could make it ‘famous’ as well.  PR and Social Agency Maloney Maloney took the central idea and created an installation that gave us a city centre pop up for foot traffic and therefore a media and press story. 

160 ‘babies’ representing the average number born in a day in NZ were ‘displayed’ at Auckland’s central transport hub, Britomart.  Given that one in four of these would be born into poverty, 40 of the 160 carried personal stories of the very real implications of their plight.

Quite the traffic stopper and a great focus for the media with loads of prime time TV news coverage.

And if you are spending a lot of money to drive people to a site it had better be a great experience.  Hence we had Translate Digital bring all their engineering and creative and UX skills to the party.

Online we have used versions of the TV spot and the media coverage and the making of the ad and we have engaged with supporters and detractors.  Childhood poverty is a confronting and political issue and many still prefer to believe that it either does not exist or is the fault of the parents.  We make no apology for upsetting some and indeed we were happy to stir the controversy by having detractor comments reported and debated.

We have tens of thousands of data points from all of this and the remarketing is underway as we move people along the consideration journey to contribute and make a difference.

Pledges and commitments are ramping up, but more importantly, a new force in raising funds to help alleviate childhood poverty has been established for the long haul.

Huge thanks to Contagion, Stickybeak, Maloney/Maloney, Translate Digital, Claire Hewitt and of course our sponsor and leader Liz Greive.

And if you can, please donate, whether you are a pensioner or not.




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