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Charities are increasingly turning to OOH because today, the medium delivers more than awareness and brand building. Combining new tech and innovation within OOH with sheer originality, charities bring social responsibility to the forefront of media messaging effectiveness.

Like all charities, advertising campaigns for children’s organisations must work hard at prompting action from audiences within a market that’s filled with lighter, more digestible and entertaining messaging. These campaigns often centre on empathy and emotion with key audiences being women and older generations, and where messaging is focused almost exclusively on storytelling. For that reason, non-profit organisations have often favoured TV. However, we are seeing a trending increase in children’s organisations choosing OOH, and they are reconstructing advertising methods within the sector. But why the shift? 

A Changing landscape for charity messaging

For charities, the two primary goals of raising awareness and raising funds have not changed. However, OOH has. As a mass medium with fast cover, OOH reaches over 410 million people daily. However, new capabilities in increased digitisation bring new personalised messaging, smart custom executions and build real-life engagement. These new forms of OOH messaging resonate with younger segments of the population - the discerning and increasingly influential media consumers. By prompting conversations in the public space, OOH has acted as lever that challenges preconceptions within the sector of charity advertising. Let’s explore new ways in which children’s charities drive innovation within this advertising sector.

Engagement means positive action

The very nature of OOH means that charity advertisers can engage with people in real life. These advertisers are choosing the medium to transform words and images into an experience that encourages action on an issue in real time.

A giant music box prompts action | Centre for Children, China

The campaign by Centre for Children in Shanghai built awareness of the effectiveness of music therapy for children with autism. The bright custom-build giant music box activated each time a donation was made in a way that would engage kids with the condition. Additional QR codes where people could send good wishes added a drive-to-mobile action.
  • Audience: Commuters
  • Creative Solutions: special build, sound integration, direct payment

A motion sensor builds empathy | The Smith Family, Australia

The Smith Family used OOH tech to put its target audience in the shoes of children from disadvantaged backgrounds. The digital campaign creative displayed a group of children playing at school. So to help people understand how isolated disadvantaged kids feel from their peers, every time a passer-by approached the panel, the kids would run away. The campaign was strategically placed in the prime shopping district of central Sydney, encouraging people who are in the spending mode, to donate on the spot.
  • Audience: Shoppers
  • Creative Solutions: NFC contactless payment, motion sensor
Find out more about this campaign by JCDecaux Australia

Non-interruptive messaging

A showcase panel turns into a shop window | Unicef Sweden

When out and about, people are more alert and their attention is less fragmented among screens. As a natural part of the urban landscape, OOH has the advantage of being to be non-interruptive medium where messaging is received in a positive frame of mind.
Unicef showcase makes a shop window, JCDecaux Norway, 2016-12
Unicef showcase makes a shop window
Unicef in Sweden used the OOH environment as a shop-window; encouraging positive consumer choices that make a difference for children in need.
  • Audience: Shoppers
  • Creative Solutions: special build, showcase

Flexibility and real-time information

Digital OOH (DOOH) capabilities offer new levels of flexibility to charities in terms of location, content, formats and targeting. Children’s charities are increasingly choosing DOOH to put campaigns into context; communicating fast and in real-time, to the right people.

VIDEO] Live announcements build a network | Missing Children, UK

Missing People in the UK used the nationwide DOOH network to quickly announce news about missing children in relevant regions, while dynamically recruiting people from key areas to sign up to its Child Rescue Alert service. The campaign was a great success with over 20,000 registrations.
  • Audiences: Commuters, city dwellers
  • Creative Solutions: mobile interaction, Dynamic content
Read more about this campaign from JCDecaux UK

Live participation data shows results | SOS Children’s Village, Norway

The SOS Children’s Village OOH Dynamic and domination campaign “Home for Christmas” raised awareness and included an exhibition stand where passers-by could learn more about the cause and volunteer. The growing number of donors was displayed in real time on the digital screens in the vicinity, showing the positive contribution of every individual and building a shared sense of positive action.
  • Audience: Commuters
  • Creative Solutions: domination, special build, dynamic, interaction
Read more about this campaign by JCDecaux Norway

Simplified fund raising

Technology like NFC has enabled charities to collect donations instantly directly via OOH, thereby simplifying the process for consumers and encouraging participation. These OOH campaigns are empowered to not just build awareness and engagement, but also to incorporate a tighter ROI model into the ad strategy.

Contactless payment ad reflects messaging. Vaincre l’Autisme, France

Vaincre I'Autisme contactless payment, JCDecaux France, 2017-04
Contactless payment ad by Vaincre l’Autisme mirrors messaging
During the Autism awareness day, the digital ad for the French charity Vaincre l’Autisme (translation Conquer Autism) raised awareness around how autistic children often don’t like being touched. To reflect the messaging, the contactless payment sensor on the panel was configured to receive donations from 10cm away. The emotive and optimistic creative combined with a well-suited OOH solution was a perfect fit.
  • Audience: City dwellers
  • Creative Solutions: NFC contactless payment
Find out more about this campaign by JCDecaux France

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Published in For brands, about #humanitarian and environmental