Cannes Lions

YOUTH HOMELESSNESS CHARITY

PUBLICIS LONDON, London / DEPAUL / 2010

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Overview

Entries

Credits

Overview

Description

Depaul UK is a charity that aims to keep young people off the streets. With an ageing donor base (average age >65) it needed more awareness amongst – and more donations from – affluent, socially-conscious 30-somethings.

This audience is good at zoning out charity messages, but from our conversations with them we knew that if we could get them to empathise with the plight of young homeless people, we could get them to donate.

We uncovered a killer fact that fundamentally shaped our thinking: once they’re on the street, 3 out of 4 young people will turn to hard drugs.

Execution

We put a young homeless person on the iPhone.

For 3 days, the fate of ‘iHobo’ is in your hands. Treated well, he thrives. Left alone, un-cared for, his inevitable decline into hard drugs usage plays out on the screen. After living with him - and building a sense of responsibility for him - for 3 days, the app prompts you to donate with one click.

To build initial awareness, i-Phones with the iHobo app pre-installed were distributed to influential technology journalists and bloggers.

We made the app free to download. And instead of asking for donations within the app (which is restricted by Apple anyway), or directing people to a website (that may not be mobile compatible), we introduced a simple (but revolutionary) one click text donation mechanism.

Outcome

Within just 5 days of the launch, iHobo had risen to become the Number One most downloaded app in the UK.With over 20,000 downloads a day.

Jonathan Waddingham a digital strategist at JustGiving – the world’s largest and most trusted fundraising platform – said: “iHobo actually makes users feel something (whilst getting around donation restrictions). That is revolutionary. It’s a fantastic charity app.”

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