Marie Curie campaign rises to the occasion

Challenge - Digital is a key sector for Marie Curie Cancer Care. However, while its website has been undergoing development, it has limited its online presence, so as not to frustrate the consumer. This year, actor Stephen Mangan (of Green Wing fame) was chosen as the campaign ambassador to provide a contemporary face for Marie Curie and to broaden the charity's appeal. For the above-the-line advertising, Mangan would star in a 60-second radio commercial singing The Animals' House of the Rising Sun. We needed to maximise the Mangan association, tapping into his warmth and personality without incurring extra production costs.

Mangan: busking to The Animals
Mangan: busking to The Animals

Marie Curie Cancer Care
Lead planner
Hayley McRae

Our strategy was to take the radio ad online. We created a campaign hosted on Facebook to reach established Marie Curie Facebook supporters, while extending this fanbase further and appealing to Mangan's followers.


While recording the radio ad, Mangan agreed to be filmed on camcorder, busking to The Animals' tune, which was then hosted on Facebook. The homemade nature of the ad fitted perfectly into the Facebook environment and imbued it with a sense of realism, while amplify-ing the reach of the radio activity. People were encouraged to donate via Mangan's "busking hat", and were sent to the Marie Curie fan page for more details. Keeping people within Facebook ensured an effortless user experience. Using Engagement Ad technology encouraged people to interact with the clip and virally extended the campaign's reach, via friends' news feeds. As well as reaching conventional charity donors, keyword targeting enabled us to maximise campaign effectiveness - people actively expressing an interest in Marie Curie, cancer or Mangan formulated part of our keyword target.

With more than 7,000 active engage-ments, the campaign massively outperformed expectations. Using Facebook gave Marie Curie a cost-effective online presence, consumer analytics and a rich source of new fans - all potential donors. Mangan's busking donations exceeded £4,000 and, despite activity finishing in March, donations are still arriving.

Hayley McRae, Group head, Maxus

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