Scope of Good Practice
In February 2012, over 200 giant eggs were hidden throughout central London as part of an innovative and ambitious charity fundraising initiative. "The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt" brought together two very different charities, Elephant Family and Action for Children, with a common goal: create the world’s biggest egg hunt across a city landscape and provide a fundraising experience where immersion triumphed over emotion.
The project went on to break two Guinness World Records titles, engage over a million people and raise over £1million for charity.
The Problem Addressed by the Campaign
In the UK, fundraising campaigns for charities of all sizes largely depend on an age-old formula: tugging at heartstrings, with the aim of guilting the public into giving. While this is a tried and tested formula – and still produces results – in 2012 compassion fatigue was compounded by tough economic conditions, putting a squeeze on disposable income and people’s incentives to give.
From the outset, the Fabergé Big Egg Hunt sought to break with this model, harnessing an outdoor art exhibition and surprising and delighting the public into supporting two worthwhile causes. While the exhibits themselves provided wonder and a childish adventure for participants, the integrated campaign around the egg hunt offered the public different ways to engage and donate.
The scale of the project (209 eggs, each individually commissioned from leading artists, designers and brands), coupled with an incredibly short time frame (Fallon came on board 6 weeks before the egg hunt launched in London) meant that there was no time to conduct research with target audiences.
The team worked closely with the two charities to develop a look and feel and tone of voice which would work across their known target audiences (from high net worth donors to monthly givers to young families), but many of the key learnings happened during the course of the six weeks the Fabergé Big Egg Hunt was live.
The team learned that families preferred physical assets for the hunt ("egg zone" maps and workbooks, which children could fill in as they found eggs) to the digital equivalent (Facebook check-ins and QR codes, which allowed participants to grow their egg "collections") – and that they were prepared to pay for these. For upcoming franchised Big Egg Hunt events in London and Dublin (2013) and New York (2014), this insight has led to the creation of more and varied Big Egg Hunt merchandise, particularly targeted at families.
Fallon’s role on the Fabergé Big Egg Hunt was to take the core idea (209 bespoke, giant eggs placed across London) and add a strategic and creative layer. With multiple stakeholders, little time and a limited budget, the team sought to identify the different audiences for the event and create appropriate entry points for each:
- Treasure Hunters: the team knew that a small but significant group would have high engagement with the campaign and become advocates.
- Day Trippers: the team catered to medium-engagement group by making each egg zone accessible for families or non-Londoners who would want to tackle a more manageable chunk of the Big Egg Hunt.
- Virtual Tourists: the team made sure that low-engagement group still had ways to be part of the campaign, through online donations, access to information about individual eggs, artist exclusives, and an online egg auction.
All creative ideas were geared to encourage a greater number of participants in the Fabergé Big Egg Hunt and to deepen user’s engagement with the campaign:
- Fallon provided design and digital design across all channels (web, mobile, print).
- QR and Facebook check-ins allowed Treasure Hunters and Day Trippers to discover and collect eggs and share information about their collection seamlessly across social networks.
- Participants were able to text an egg’s individual reference code to enter a raffle with a money-can’t-buy prize, a unique Fabergé golden egg valued at over £120,000.
- Twelve individually-designed Zone Maps were produced, giving egg hunters the chance to pick an area in Central London and discover all the eggs in that zone during a lunchtime, early evening or weekend.
“It created lots of real-world chatter (lots of my staff did it) and PR — and it actually worked as a social media campaign. On every level it delivered. An example of what can be done when you think big. 10 out of 10.” – Expert Review, Third Sector Magazine.
Other than a pro-bono media partnership with The Evening Standard, all media for the campaign was earned.
The event had extensive media reach and traction, generating over 400 pieces of brand supportive media coverage, domestically and internationally, with coverage including The Evening Standard, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, BBC, ITV, Hello, OK, Time Out and Vogue online. Internationally, ABC and NBC News, LA Weekly, Forbes, Le Monde, O Globo, The Gulf Times and many others all covered the story.
The team developed an impressive social media community over the six week event period, with over 7,000 Facebook supporters, 3,500 followers on Twitter, and a considerable celebrity social media presence and backing. New and existing celebrity supporters were integrated across the campaign, including Stephen Fry, Katherine Jenkins, Leona Lewis, Goldie Hawn, Holly Valance, Emilia Fox, Bianca Jagger, Lisa Butcher, Emily Maitlis and Amanda Holden.
The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt :
- Raised over £1million for the two charities.
- Engaged directly with over 1 million people who saw and visited the eggs.
- Achieved a phenomenal 15 percent awareness with the general public across the UK (NFP Synergy), despite using no paid-for advertising — it ranked 11th in the list of services, initiatives or activities that the general public were aware of. Others in the list were mostly nationwide or long-standing events such as Macmillan Coffee morning (52 percent), Earth Hour (24 percent) and Teenage Cancer Trust at the Royal Albert Hall (23 percent).
- Saw a 34 percent increase in visitors to Action For Children (one of the two charities involved).
- Set two Guinness World Records titles, for the "Most entrants into an egg hunt competition" and the "World’s most expensive chocolate egg."
Most significantly, the Big Egg Hunt has become a franchise, available to charities across the world who are looking for a new and immersive way to raise money for their cause. So far, charities in three countries have taken up the offer.
Conclusions and Recommendations
“I have not seen so much excitement in the city since Kate and Will tied the knot. And that excitement is translating into incremental dollars at retailers’ cash registers.” – Stacey Widlitz, for CNBC News