Brand Index: Spontaneous campaigning works for Cancer Research

 
Stephan Shakespeare
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THE IMPROMPTU social media campaign for cancer awareness – where thousands of people shared makeup-free photos of themselves – has had a positive impact on the public’s perception of charity Cancer Research UK, according to new research from YouGov’s CharityIndex.

Our findings show that although the campaign started organically and was not launched by the charity itself, it has seen several key brand metrics improve since #nomakeupselfie first appeared on 18 March.

CharityIndex shows that its word of mouth (WOM) exposure, measuring the percentage of people that have talked about a charity in the previous two weeks, increased by six percentage points between the 18 and 27 March.

Similarly, over the same period the charity’s awareness score increased by three percentage points. This suggests that the aim of the spontaneous campaign – to increase awareness of cancer – has been realised.

Given the campaign was driven by social media, it is perhaps not surprising that the biggest impact for the charity was seen among younger people. Awareness scores for Cancer Research UK increased by seven percentage points amongst this group, and WOM exposure among this demographic rose by ten percentage points.

CharityIndex data also indicates that despite the campaign starting on social media, it successfully reached out beyond the online community to connect with those who don’t use Twitter or Facebook. Cancer Research UK’s Awareness score increased markedly among those not using social networking sites, likely influenced by traditional media coverage of the online phenomenon.

This campaign was a winner because it was simple, authentic and accessible to everyone with a social media account and a mobile phone. It has been reported that, as a result of #nomakeupselfie, more than £8m has been raised for cancer research in Britain.

Stephan Shakespeare is the chief executive of YouGov