Putting programs first.
Russ Reid has worked with KCET, the nation’s largest independent public television station, since 2009. But when KCET made the bold move to leave PBS, they needed to raise funds fast by strongly communicating something they had previously not really featured—their programs.
By inspiring donors to support their favorite leading TV shows, more than KCET itself, Russ Reid was able to raise response and empower their new positioning that KCET is the place where the story really gets good.
A campaign that saves the day.
The American Red Cross (ARC) entered the fourth quarter of 2009 with a funding deficit. Their efforts to close the income gap had been hindered by lower-than-anticipated disaster giving due to a lack of major disasters and the country’s economic crisis. As their agency partner, we knew we had to find a new way to capture a greater share of holiday and year-end giving.
Our overarching strategy was to create a “surround sound” effect in the marketplace during the season. Into this timeframe, we designed and inserted a multi-channel campaign around the new positioning of “Give the gift that saves the day” that was a hybrid of direct response and branding designed to lift total response. The campaign was structured to drive interest by employing direct response TV, print ads, web banners and transit ads to build awareness and drive donors to the website.
Stepping up to help ACS make strides.
After seeing success in the previous year’s awareness advertising pilot for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, the American Cancer Society sought to duplicate this same success by strategically targeting specific local markets to boost participation in the Making Strides events – and increase the amount of funds raised by event. The strategy was to add emotion and personal stakes to this already established awareness campaign focused on birthdays.
Russ Reid hit the ground running. Under tight deadlines, we implemented a multi-channel campaign in 6 key markets, including TV, radio, display and search, direct mail, outdoor, freestanding inserts and outbound telemarketing. The campaign featured strong direct response messaging with a clear call to action that supported new participation, repeat participation and more donations from both participants and non-participants.
Dialing up the urgency to save children’s lives.
When World Vision U.S. launched their effort to support the Child Health Now initiative designed to reduce the preventable deaths of children under age five, they asked Russ Reid to help. A significant challenge was offer positioning. Given that the goal was to fundraise for programs and services that benefit pregnant women and children under age five, the key offer tangibles were preventative and programmatic in nature–inherently reducing the urgency and power of the offer.
Strengthening the non-urgent offer required a nontraditional approach, and a reverse engineering of the offer: highlighting the campaign goal and using a select array of programs to reinforce how the goal would be reached. More importantly, the offer leveraged grant funds to develop a powerful multiplier offer. The innovative approach used for the integrated campaign resulted in a first-time-ever collaboration between parts of World Vision.
Hope begins with a meal.
For more than a century, Denver Rescue Mission has been helping hungry and homeless men, women and children in the community. Thanksgiving is vital time for the Mission, as the majority of the organization’s funds are typically raised during a small window of time between September and December.
It is during this time of thanks that they depend on their donors to stay fully engaged and willing to give at multiple times. As a result, package fatigue is a constant challenge, driving us to continue to test new, attention-grabbing approaches to secure those donations that are so greatly needed.
Helping World Vision help children here at home.
World Vision is known for its proven international child relief efforts. Our challenge—in a domestic market inundated with food banks, rescue missions and local churches—was to convince donors that World Vision’s global experience was not a weakness, but in fact a strength that empowers the work they do when helping kids right here at home.
Our strategy was to use an integrated campaign to create an authentic emotional connection with the suffering of American children living without enough food and other essentials. The direct mail and digital campaign created a gritty look to capture the stark reality of poverty and its devastating effect on children. Each component used dramatically stripped-down, black-and-white photos of American kids, combined with a dark and dirty red, white and blue color palette.
The new World Vision U.S. domestic program has exceeded all our expectations:
Our first effort out the door, the “Land of the Free” package, brought in a 6.49% response rate. And the second package earned a 9.6% response rate, followed by a response of 16.93%.