War Child Canada and their ad agency, John St. racked up more accolades and awards for their HELP CHILD SOLDIERS campaign, most notably the Andy Rodgers Public Service Award at the 2009 Canadian Marketing Awards. This follows on the heels of Bessie awards won earlier this year and their outstanding integrated marketing communications campaign from 2007/2008 “Camp Okutta" which unexpectedly portrayed a Canadian children's summer camp as a fun place to send children to learn about the art of warfare. The campaign stapled wild posting on street corners, handed out brochures, posted viral videos on YouTube and used a microsite to get attention. A public relations effort completed the campaign with the story being covered by major TV stations and newspapers. The result - an large increase in awareness and donations. (See SlideShare presentation http://tinyurl.com/cd9tjt)
Let's focus on their current campaign, HELP CHILD SOLDIERS. Unlike other PSA campaigns, this does not shock the viewer with disturbing images - those we don't want to see again. Instead, it creatively and subtly shocks viewers by taking traditional Canadian family values and "matter-of-factly" showing how they can be used to help arm child soldiers. We see typical Canadian parents and grandparents collecting weapons and raising funds to help children become child soldiers. The result - a viral video and TV ad you can watch again and again and let the message sink in.
This campaign spread its message through posters, TV ads, viral video, social media, and a PR campaign that prompted coverage in the mainstream press. The result was an increase in donations.
Click below to see the 2009 HELP CHILD SOLDIERS campaign, a short video explaining the 2007/08 CAMP OKUTTA and a super presentation on SlideShare.
Viral video - Help Child Soldiers
Camp Okutta Integrated Video