Unicef UK leveraged paid social to promote Paddington’s Postcards

Unicef UK used Facebook to promote its Paddington's Postcards subscription product.

The Kite Factory was highly commended in the ‘Not for Profit’ category of The Drum Marketing Awards 2020 with its Paddington’s Postcards campaign for Unicef UK. Here, the team behind the entry reveal the challenges faced and strategies used to deliver this successful project.

The challenge

The not-for-profit sector has entered a period of profound change.

At the heart is an evolution in how people support charities, and what they get out of the relationship. There is a growth in popularity in charitable subscription products, where supporters get a value exchange of something in return for their ongoing donation.

As this is a relatively new area, it sees a lot of product innovation and testing to prove viability, and this brief related to just that. Thanks to a fantastic corporate partnership with The Copyrights Group, and their permission to use the Paddington character, Unicef UK had created a product called Paddington’s Postcards.

Paddington learns about different places around the world, how children live in those countries & what Unicef does to support them. Parents sign up with a monthly pledge gift of £8. In return their child receives a personalised postcard & activities from Paddington about a different country every month.

This creates excitement, as it is a piece of mail addressed directly to the child. It also creates a shared parent-child moment as they review the content together. This builds understanding and consideration with the parents,and creates proximity to their own children, creating a greater personal connection to Unicef’s cause of being there for every child in danger.

The brief to The Kite Factory was to suggest a channel plan to test this new product.

The objective was to deliver a CPA in line with or ideally better than business-as-usual benchmarks for Regular Gift acquisition, to show that the product had viability.

The strategy

Targeting family shared media moments when parent and child were together was deemed too cost prohibitive given the scarcity and resulting premium to access these moments.

Instead, we sought to target parents in their ‘personal media’ browsing downtime, when they are wearing many hats (parent, fan, colleague etc), to inspire a new activity to share with their children.

Paid Social was identified as the perfect channel to deliver this interaction, given low-entry level access cost, but with the potential to scale investment if it proved successful.

Paid Social also allowed us to trial a plethora of additional audiences to see if we could make connections with new demographics. We created audience segments built around parents, Paddington fans augmented with new audiences to the charity with potential relevance to this new product.

The campaign

We used Facebook as our chosen platform, trialling video, static and carousel creative formats. Throughout the campaign we trialled different calls to action, optimising to the formats driving the strongest ROI. As the campaign matured, we added in imagery and testimonials of supporters engaging with and enjoying the postcards as a family, creating social proofing for the concept to nudge further engagement.

While a great deal of lip service is paid to the concept of Owned Earned Shared and Paid media, this campaign delivered across the spectrum. From a shared perspective, we were able to work with The Copyrights Group to access the Paddington IP which helped attract new eyeballs to Unicef’s mission.

It drove Earned talkability both amongst families and between parents, which was made easier by our presence on social and the inherent shareability of the content - we saw large numbers of shares / tags of friends on a lot of our social ads (far higher than we usually see on Unicef UK BAU social ads).

We could use Unicef’s owned platforms to drive deeper engagement with the product, as well as utilising generous and supportive opportunities within our strong corporate partnership with The Copyrights Group to use Paddington's owned platforms for social posts and a website takeover since launch. Paid media, in the form of paid social, amplified all this good work.

By working in this way, we showed what could be achieved by leveraging all touchpoints in unison across Owned Earned Shared Paid.

The results

The campaign has delivered a Cost Per Acquisition 80% lower than the benchmark for our standard Business As-Usual Regular Giving campaign. This is a fantastic result.

This strong CPA performance ensured we saw a positive ROI from the campaign, with even the poorest performing creative delivering an ROI twice as effective as benchmark BAU ROI and the best performing creatives delivering over eight times that.

Given this great success, the initiative received two rounds of additional funding in late 2019, particularly impressive as the product only launched in mid-August, and we are now looking to expand the programme beyond social into other response channels in 2020.

Holly Roberts, Direct Marketing Manager, Unicef UK -

"We are over the moon with our Paddington's Postcard campaign. It is a really interesting subscription offering that is opening up new income opportunities, whilst helping bring the world and Unicef's work to life for children and parents in the UK. The low CPA shows what can be achieved when you create a product that really aligns with an audience, alongside The Kite Factory's great planning, buying and optimisation during the campaign."

This project was highly commended at The Drum Marketing Awards 2020. To find out which Drum Awards are currently open for entries, click here.

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