Since beginning in 2014, the Ice Bucket Challenge has raised over $220 million in donations for the treatment range of illnesses, most prominently, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a degenerative nervous system disease. As you no doubt recall, the movement relied on one person performing an action on video, then passing the challenge on to more people via social media, until it morphed into a global phenomenon attracting politicians, professional athetes and movie stars to get soaked in frigid water.
Faced with the challenge of converting HK$1000 budget into a million dollars in donations for NGO Mother’s Choice, Farhat Chowdhury, senior brand marketing specialist and Farah Amira Khan, brand marketing executive for Dotlines, a Singapore-based technology firm's office in Dhaka, Bangladesh, learned from the virality offered offered by initiatives such as the Ice Bucket Challenge to reach their target.
The two executives’ 'Click 2 Care' campaign has won gold in the 2022 Young Spikes Marketers Competition. Chowdhury and Khan reached the finals after winning a qualifying round in Bangladesh, beating established names such as Grey. During the qualification round, teams had to devise a campaign to market the country.
For their Young Spikes final round, the duo had 24 hours to develop a proposal to help Mother's Choice, which serves children without families as well as pregnant teenagers, raise funds.
Initially Chowdhury and Khan thought of several ideas, including on-ground activations and the use of highly visible KOLs to reach the goal. However, faced with the small budget, they refocused on a more sustainable plan.
Click 2 Care, the duo’s campaign, leant on a small investment in paid media and on social media word-of-mouth to try to generate buzz and find donors. They relied on the NGO's owned media, spent $400 on paid media with Facebook and banked on earned media (posts shared by donors). In addition, the small budget was used to build out community collaborations, sign up a small number of KOLs and work with key media outlets in the market to spread the message and find potential donors.
Donors would be asked to give a minimal amount of money to support the care of a specific child, in a specific, simple way, such as giving a hug or a singing a song. A caregiver at Mother’s Choice would then record a video performing that act along with a thank you message from the child, personalised for the donor. A call to action would ask the donor to share the video with five people via social media. Every donor would also receive 10 passes to an online concert set to take place on Mother’s Day, where additional donations would be solicited. So potentially, each donor could reach 15 people. “If we convert 1% of this target audience, we can reach our $1 million goal,” contends Chowdhury. The hope was that like with the Ice Bucket Challenge, word-of-mouth would drive awareness and increase donations.
“As per the requirement, the plan should be easily executable from their in-house team within a very low budget—we didn't want to provide any dreamy plan which is not executable but sounds so good," Chowdhury added.“In this era of data-driven marketing, we as young marketers must take the fact into account that the future is not just about bombarding messages at a mass audience, but rather using technology and data to fine-tune messages.”
Jurors for the competition were impressed by the attention to detail given the 24-hour time limit. The jurors were Maud Meijiboom-van Wel, CEO of Heineken Lanka; Sarah Weyman, director of Nike Direct Partnerships; and Richard Bleasdale, founder/director of The Taipan Partnership.
Chowdhury points out that the team wanted to “dig deep” into the cause of Mother’s Choice. “Instead of designing posters in English, we created posters in Chinese (since we were instructed to reach out to the Chinese audience as well),” he adds. “We scoured for HK-based Facebook groups and found 20 such groups keen on community engagement.”
The two executives bet that motherly love, or love, in general, is a very personal emotion. “We wanted to make this fundraising campaign a very personal one,” explains Chowdhury. “In our campaign, we ensured that people will not only be donating for any cause but will instead give to children that they will be able to know on a personal level, understand their life, know their preferences and hopes.”