World Vision - Dirty water issue made clear

When consumers are tightening their purse strings, a charity needs to find imaginative ways to explain its cause to persuade them to donate cash and offer their support.

World Vision, a Christian relief charity which funds projects worldwide, wanted to raise awareness of its brand in the UK.

"There is a common misconception that World Vision is something to do with eyesight," says James Mooring, head of consumer marketing at World Vision UK.


To appeal directly to its core target audience, the charity asked agency Meteorite to develop a campaign that focused on an issue it tackles daily: the lack of clean water in the developing world.

The campaign featured a viral film, supported with DM, press ads and email. Mooring says: "We didn't have a big budget, so each campaign element had to work hard for us."

More than a billion people worldwide do not have access to clean water. The viral had to show this in a way that would be emotive to mothers and to people who may not have heard of the charity before.


The viral shows a Desperate Housewives-style family scene. The children play under a sprinkler in the garden as a mother washes dishes and prepares a baby's bottle. At first the water is clean, but it turns dirty and unhygienic as the family laugh and play together, seemingly unaware of the filthy water surrounding them.

The film climaxes with the mother picking up her baby and giving it a bottle of dirty water to drink. "The creative idea is the strongest element of the campaign. Without this idea and Meteorite's original script we'd never have started the important word-of-mouth spread of the campaign," says Mooring.

A small, targeted list of affluent mothers, likely to respond and tell their peers, were sent a mail pack directing them to the online viral. This in turn drove traffic to the World Vision website where they could sign up and make a donation.

An email to current supporters directed them to the viral and ensured continued support. "DM works well because you can really target and make a strong, relevant point to recipients," says Mooring. "But it's also expensive. Digital is much more cost-effective and targets people in a space where it is much easier for them to pass the message on and respond."


The viral smashed the charity's target of 50,000 views, with more than 242,576 people viewing the film worldwide. It drove 28,207 people to This equates to a conversion of 12 per cent. One-off donations derived from the campaign surpassed £10,000 and 30 recipients became child sponsors, signing up as regular givers. The film remains on the World Vision website and it continues to attract a steady stream of viewers.

Brand: World Vision
Client: World Vision
Brief: To raise brand awareness and UK support for the charity
Target audience: Women aged 25-45, primarily with children
Budget: Undisclosed
Agency: Meteorite


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