Watching virtual log fire on YouTube will raise funds for Shelter this Christmas

Creative agency Above+Beyond has launched a 10-hour virtual log fire on YouTube that raises money for Shelter’s Christmas fundraising drive.

Capitalizing on YouTube’s boom in virtual fireplace footage, Above+Beyond has struck a deal with Google AdSense for the homeless charity to retain the ad revenue.

Above+Beyond chief executive officer Zaid Al-Zaidy told The Drum the concept solves the “complex” mechanics of traditional fundraising, which relies on audiences having to stop and fill in their details.

“This idea is really seamless. Any member of the public can do this, it’s all within our ability to make a difference,” Al-Zaidy said. “When you hear about it there is no excuse not to do it.”

‘The Good Fire’ drops today, along with a 60-second ad that airs on Sky over the festive period. Along with TV ad spots, the campaign will be pushed out on digital and out-of-home (OOH).

Smuggler are the production company behind the fireplace footage and the TV ad.

Above+Beyond came up with the idea internally, Al-Zaidy said: “We’re always on the lookout for cultural trends we can jump on and turn into interesting ways to engage audiences.”

He spoke of the challenges of bringing pro bono projects to light. “When you are doing something proactive that isn’t part of everyone’s normal day-to-day agenda you just have to pick up the phone, hustle and get people motivated – it’s not a conventional process.”

“The idea isn’t always the hardest bit – it’s getting all the parties together and giving the idea the airtime,” he added.

Al-Zaidy said Google has backed the project from the get-go. “Google AdSense is a commercial advertising tool, so turning it into something positive is really good for Google,” he said. “They’ve been really excited by the project.”

He added: “It’s all about filling people’s homes with warmth and coziness. both through the physical appearance of the fire and to know you are doing good.”

“This idea is a brilliant mash-up of audience insight [and] technology through YouTube pointed at a really good cause,” he said.