From ad to action: four creative AND effective campaigns

April 28, 2021 • 3 minute read

It’s a story that’s far too common in the nonprofit world: An agency is hired to create a brand campaign to help breath new life into an organization’s mission. Without much thought to its execution, the campaign is created for wow-worthy pitches and award submissions. It’s then passed off to another agency or an internal team that must squeeze the creative concept into their fundraising best practices, with underwhelming results.

But sometimes you see a campaign that, from start to finish, just gets it right. Here are a few of our favorites:

CARE’s CARE Package

At the end of World War II, CARE created the CARE Package®, a box of food sent to hungry families struggling after the war. This year, the organization relaunched the CARE Package® to help frontline workers here in the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic. The beauty of this campaign lies in its simplicity. It’s connected to the brand’s story and it’s a very tangible call-to-action for CARE supporters. Putting the fundraising ask at the center of the campaign, rather than as an afterthought, empowers the donor and makes giving feel almost as active as packing and sending a box yourself!

Pencils of Promise’s Season of Promise

Pencils of Promise builds schools and provides education to children all over the world. During the end-of-year fundraising season, Pencils of Promise used this campaign to stand out from the many organizations vying for donors’ generosity. With a landing page that focuses on a singular fundraising goal and the number of students who’ll be helped if they reach that goal, every contribution made feels significant. The Season of Promise complements the tangible goal with stories of young students and an organic design that humanizes the whole campaign.

Amnesty International’s Outrage is Not Enough

It seems clear that this campaign started with an audience challenge in mind: How do you inspire real action in those tweeting about the refugee crisis? Amnesty’s solution is to have refugees respond to those tweets directly. In videos and ads, people living in refugee camps thank Twitter users for words of outrage on their behalf, but ask for action too. Outrage is Not Enough calls out slacktivism, but offers solutions rather than shame to their target audience.

World Wildlife Fund’s love it or lose it

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has used the powerful imagery of nature to launch iconic brand campaigns over the years. Their newest campaign is no different. By juxtaposing the beauty of nature and the threats facing it, WWF’s “love it or lose it” campaign turns love into an action. The landing page highlights nine iconic ecosystems and asks audiences to imagine they’re gone. In that context, “love it or lose it” turns into an urgent call-to-action.

… And your next campaign?

Far too often agencies fail to think through how creative and messaging that works at the brand level will translate into direct response fundraising. These campaigns are great examples of how this can be done well. Fwd People has the expertise and experience to turn your next campaign into one that delivers both awe and action. We don’t create messaging strategies or brand projects in a vacuum, instead we incorporate strategy and audience insights from the start — meaning your ads are just as like to win over hearts and minds as they are to drive dollars towards your mission.

Sound good? Let’s talk!

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