REALITY XMAS

Short List
ClientDOCTORS OF THE WORLD
Category B01. Flat Mailing
TitleREALITY XMAS
Product/ServiceINTERNATIONAL MEDICAL CHARITY
Entrant McCANN LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
Idea Creation McCANN LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
Media Placement UM MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM
PR PERSUASION COMMUNICATIONS London, UNITED KINGDOM
Production CRAFT WORLDWIDE London, UNITED KINGDOM
Credits
Name Company Position
Rob Doubal McCann London Chief Creative Officer
Laurence Thomson McCann London Chief Creative Officer
Mike Oughton McCann London Creative Director
Olly Wood McCann London Creative
Matt Searle McCann London Creative
Rob McDonald Craft Worldwide, London Retoucher
Pam Oskam Craft Worldwide, London Art Buyer
Jon Marshall McCann London Project Manager
Dan Howarth McCann London Head of Art
Sergio Lopez Craft Worldwide, London Head of Integrated Production
Sophie Chapman-Andrews Craft Worldwide, London Executive Producer
Ellis Faint Craft Worldwide, London Studio Manager
Liam White Craft Worldwide, London Print Producer
Muhammad Qasim Craft Worldwide, London Artworker
Francois d'Espagnac McCann London Account Director
AJ Coyne McCann London Business Director
Tom Baines McCann London Account Manager
Charlotte Walters McCann London Planner
Nick O'Quinn McCann London Planner
Louise Ringrose McCann London Director of Communications
Rami Noumaan McCann London Marketing Executive
Molly Deaville UM Manchester Media Account Manager
Sanjiv Mistry McCann London EMEA Creative Director
Jamie Mietz McCann London EMEA Creative Director
Dan Good Craft Worldwide, London Editor
Blake Dixon Craft Worldwide, London Editor
Romina Contepomi Craft Worldwide, London Agency Producer
Chris Gilbert Craft Worldwide, London Sound Engineer
Michelle Prinsloo Craft Worldwide, London Agency Producer

The Campaign

Every Christmas, we see romanticised images of the ‘Holy Land’. Everything looks calm and peaceful. Yet today, the Middle East is ravaged by war. For charity Doctors of the World, we brought this inconvenient irony to the fore with #RealityXmas - a set of Christmas cards designed to spark debate, provoke outrage, get petition signatures and increase donations. Combining traditional nativity scenes, synonymous with the festive season, with genuine 2016 editorial war images, they become a set of unique, and powerful visuals went global, gaining an unprecedented response.

Creative Execution

We put the cards for sale online – so people could purchase them, and spread the message themselves. And upon purchase people could opt to sign the petition and apply pressure to government in light of the ongoing Aleppo crisis. We also used the cards to write hundreds of personal messages to influences in media (Christiane Amanpur, Jon Snow), as well as politicians (Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn) high-profile humanitarians (Kofi Annan, António Guterres) and religious leaders (The Archbishop of Canterbury). Over the course of the build up to Christmas and advent, we had a tight window of opportunity to create maximum impact. To drive signatures and raise funds. With a budget of just £3,101 we began with a small run of 2120 cards. But these sold out within 48 hours. We re-invested to produce an additional 2 runs to meet demand, to keep momentum going for the duration of advent.

Results

Overall the cards had 1.78 billion online impressions, causing a 1853% increase in site traffic, acting as a catalyst for 152,468 ‘Free Aleppo’ petition signatures (7,623% above our objective), a key KPI, along with donations that soared at 336% above our initial target, enabling DOTW volunteers to continue to provide critical medical aid across the Middle East.  Despite DOTW being UK based, it was an international success. Coverage on CNN news, BBC Online, Time magazine and International Business Times, spurred huge interest worldwide. Further publications covered the campaign globally, including the US, Australia, Israel, Indonesia, Netherlands, Korea, Brazil, Germany, Malaysia, and South Africa to name but a few. And it was even embraced by religious leaders. Subsequently, orders for Christmas cards rolled in, and we successfully delivered the concerns of the world to the UK government. The value of people engaging with the brand on this scale was unprecedented.

We feel this work is relevant for the Direct category as it utilised the media of direct, as an innovative focal point for a life-saving cause. We began this project with the objective of gaining 2,000 petition signatures to pressure the UK government into opening a medical air corridor over Aleppo. We ended the project with a staggering 152,468. With donations 336% above our initial target, and coverage on CNN Worldwide and BBC Online amongst others. All this from a humble set of 4, visually arresting Christmas cards – on a shoe-string budget of just £3,101.

Our strategy was to achieve maximum impact within a small seasonal window: advent. Focusing on our provocative Christmas Cards as our core campaign element, surrounded by print, radio, social media and OOH. Our target audience – to ensure the message spread, and people signed the petition – were international, professionals and retirees, those interested in humanitarian issues, as well as the mid-market and encouraging action from beyond the usual third sector supporters in media. But most significantly, we targeted politicians through this coverage, and the cards themselves, to apply pressure at this critical time. The call to action was simple: purchase the cards and by doing so spread the word, and sign the petition – to bring the Aleppo crises to the fore.