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Bring Them Back

VML BELGIUM, Antwerp / CHILD FOCUS / 2024

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Overview

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Overview

Background

Childfocus is known for their missing children posters and awareness campaigns. But funding to conquer increasing challenges put a pressure on their power to act.

For the first time in history, Child Focus was at the brink of running out of resources to fulfill their mission to its best. That’s why we had to make a strategic shift from awareness to fundraising. The leverage to make this shift? Changing their targets without changing their mission: spreading hope.

Idea

In 2016, Child Focus launched the Coins of Hope. One million official two euro-coins with the face of Liam Vandenbrande, a boy who has been missing for 25 years. Spreading hope for all missing children. The campaign was an enormous success, shared by politicians, influencers and the public and with press coverage all over Europe.

In 2024, we asked everybody to bring their Coins of Hope back.

We created a recall campaign. We made missing posters of the coins of hope. Recalled the coins on social media. Sent messages to coin collectors. And even reposted posts of politicians and influencers who shared the campaign in 2016. Turning an awareness campaign from 2016 into a fundraising campaign for 2024. With just one goal: more donations and more support from our government.

Strategy

The Coins of Hope was a very successful PR-campaign from Child Focus in 2016, getting attention from all news channels in Belgium, Europe and around the world (Huffington Post, Wired, Skynews, Vanity Fair…) And the cry for help in 2024 was also picked by all major Belgian news channels.

We used the old and the new PR attention to get our message across: Bring back the Coins of Hope to make sure we can keep spreading hope for all children and families in need.

Execution

In all our media and communication we directly recalled the Coins of Hope, or any other amount, to raise funds for Child Focus. With as main keyvisual one of the coins. And a simple call to action: Bring them back.

-We started, like a true recall action, with a print ad explaining our story.

-It was followed by a social video with the same message: Bring Them Back.

-Then we recalled the Coins of Hope in traditional media, like indoor and outdoor posters.

-We asked influencers to re-share their original posts from 2016, but with an updated message.

-In shops we placed collection boxes, for anyone to donate their coins on the spot.

-And we asked coin collectors to return their coins on second hand websites.

-Finally, we retweeted politicians who proudly shared the Coins of Hope in 2016, and asked them to support us again this time.

Outcome

Only 106 Coins of Hope were returned, but obviously this was not the real goal of our campaign. The PR and fundraising were above expectations.

-Extensive press coverage in all major newspapers

-Interviews with Child Focus on radio and tv,

-Invitations to talk shows

-shared online by influencers

+ 110.000 euro received in donations from the public.

+ 500.000 euro was donated through corporations

+ This equals nothing less than 302.000 Coins of Hope

+ Permanent funding for Child Focus by the Belgian government is finally on the political agenda, supported by Flemish minister and vice-president Crevits and state secretary Leroy.

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