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How charities are innovating with digital outdoor advertising

We showcase charities’ imaginative use of digital to target potential supporters while out and about.

Traditional and digital billboards offer bang for buck – while SEO campaigns range between £750-£2,000+ per month, billboard space can be bought for a fraction of that price – some as little as £80 per day.

Much like buying a house, charities should keep in mind when buying digital billboard space that it’s all about location, location, location. With digital outdoor advertising, charities can target specific audiences, narrowing down to specific location, traffic type and time of day.

New digital innovations in outdoor advertising are helping charities stand out from the crowd with personalisation and even facial recognition that dynamically adapts to the viewer, bringing their cause to life in attention-grabbing new ways.

Here we showcase some of top charity outdoor digital advertising campaigns from the past few years.

The Marine Conservation Society – Donate Your Guilt

Guilt can be a powerful motivator. The Marine Conservation Society and Ocean teamed up this year to deliver the ‘Donate your Guilt’ campaign, asking people who forgot their reusable cups to text a £3 donation to the charity. Shown on digital outdoor screens in Westfield London, the Bullring in Birmingham, and in Manchester and Edinburgh city centres, the images showed floating plastic in blue oceans.

“What better way to get us all to remember the cost to the environment of unnecessary plastic, than by making us think through our purses and wallets. We all feel a bit guilty when we forget our re-usable bags, bottles and mugs, but we are all human – even the most committed of us slip up sometimes,” said Mike Crossley, director of fundraising and marketing at the Marine Conservation Society.

Image Credit: Ocean Outdoor

The British Stammering Association – Stamma

Maximising spaces with lots of traffic, ‘Stamma’ used digital outdoor advertising space in transport hubs to reposition stammering as a serious issue. The digital adverts were featured in London Euston Station and Glasgow’s St. Enoch Centre.

The campaign posters show the words ‘I stammer’ in disrupted, blocked and extended text to illustrate the speech of those with a stammer. Set within this are messages from those who stammer with text such as ‘I’m not nervous’ and ‘Don’t hang up on me’.

“I hope this campaign will help many more people understand what a stammer is all about, so that more people who stammer are able to make the most of their talent and potential,” said Ed Balls, former MP and charity patron.

Dyslexia Association  – A moment of Dyslexia

Created by agency Leo Burnett London for the British Dyslexia Association, ‘A Moment of Dyslexia’ won the Charity category first prize at the Ocean Outdoor annual digital creative competition, thanks to its use of facial detection technology.

The dynamic long-form text that appears on the displays is triggered for display by Look Out, Ocean’s audience facial detection technology. This measures audience attention time as people stop to read the text. The longer people look at the screens, the more jumbled the words and letters become, to reflect what it can be like to be dyslexic.

Image Credit: Leo Burnett London

Living Streets – Walk This Way

This digital street campaign for National Walking Month was run by walking campaign group Living Streets – an organisation which works to encourage ‘everyday walking’ by improving the walking environment and inspiring people to take to the streets.

What could be more fitting than bringing the campaign to the streets? InLinkUK is the company rolling out the digital replacements for BT phone boxes in London. The charity used the terminals to showcase images and messages of those getting involved to encourage others to join the campaign.

English Heritage – Blue Plaques

In another use of InLinkUK digital terminals, English Heritage teamed up with the company, which runs digital terminals in London that offer services including Wi-Fi, phone calls and device charging, to raise awareness of women from history. The aim was to address a gender imbalance as only 14% of Engish Heritage’s London blue plaques celebrate women.

The screens showed specific blue plaques that pay tribute to a building’s link to a famous person in history, including a message for London residents to nominate female local heroes that they think deserve a blue plaque.

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