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Boo&Stu BLOG:

Top 12 Charity Campaigns


Posted by Anna

At Boo&Stu we are really lucky to work with some fantastic charities we really admire, on various logo, print, illustration and web design projects.


We are currently working on the branding for a new charity campaign launch which will be through the simple use of a logo and some merchandise, but it has got me thinking about what I think makes a great charity marketing campaign...


There have been so many amazing and successful campaigns but here is my list of campaigns that have inspired me, grabbed my attention recently, or ones that I have never forgotten.


These are in no particular order and are a mix of media - from illustrated motion video, to public art, and web apps and are for a mix of animal, environmental, human rights and public information campaigns.


(PLEASE NOTE: The work here is NOT by Boo&Stu – but by many other fab design agencies which are credited where possible).

1. Stop Live Exports Big Bus Challenge – Compassion in World Farming

Charity campaign design image

about anna

Anna Celeste Watson is Boo&Stu's Web & Graphic Designer

Born in West Sussex and now living in Dorset, Anna graduated from Wimbledon School of Art in 2000 with a degree in Fine Art: Painting where she specialised in Film & Video. She worked as the Video Editor for Travel TV at Teddington Studios creating broadcast documentaries for Sky TV and online content, until 2001, when she developed an interest in creating websites. Anna then worked for 3 years as a Web Designer for Fresh Egg Ltd in Worthing (now listed in the Top 100 Digital Agencies) before going fully freelance, and in 2015 officially combined forces with her Graphic Designer partner Stu to form Boo&Stu.


Charity campaign design image

In September 2011 leading farm animal welfare charity Compassion in World Farming won the Big Bus Challenge with an advert designed by Elvis Communications, chosen from among hundreds of competition entries.


The advert aimed to encourage people to support their work against long distance live animal transport and was displayed on buses across London. The ad was made to look as though sheep were crammed on to the bus alongside the text "For many, it's standing room only. Stop Live Exports", as well as other text on the side of the bus saying “They can’t ring the bell when they want to get off”.


It seems such a simple but wonderfully direct and effective idea – literally showing the real-life situation for many of our farm animals, and in a stressful and intense situation that means the audience could easily emphasise with what the animals go through.

2. Life-size Blue Whale – Whale and Dolphin Conservation

Charity campaign design image

I first saw this flash animation by Whale and Dolphin Conservation a few years ago and the beauty and simplicity of it, feeling like you are directly looking into the eye of the whale and seeing it close up as if you were yourself swimming right next to it, completely blew me away. I am so pleased they have carried it over to their new website.


Click here to view the WDC life-size blue whale (you will need flash player installed though so it won't work on Apple unfortunately).

3. The Social Swipe – Misereor

Charity campaign design image
Charity campaign design image

I found this award winning campaign through Twitter this Spring 2015 and it is such a clever idea that really gets people to engage and donate to charity. Like most good ideas it seems so simple and is beautifully executed.


Misereor are an organisation in the USA who are fighting against poverty and injustice. Design agency Kolle Rebbe created an Interactive Charity Donation Billboard called ‘The Social Swipe’. The digital poster has a split in the middle that allows individuals to swipe their credit card which activates a video sequence reacting to the swipe and shows how the donation would actually help someone in need whether it is to help feed bread to someone who is in poverty, or to free someone from the shackles of their slavery.


The idea is that it can help to solve a very real problem that people can’t always visualise where their donation is going, and I imagine through the simple act of swiping their card they feel like they are taking direct hands-on action to do good.

4. Wow! Gorillas – Bristol Zoo

Charity campaign design image

This was a fantastic bit of public art in Bristol, overseen by Wild in Art. Sixty gorilla sculptures were created as part of their 'Wow! Gorillas' event to celebrate Bristol Zoo's 175th birthday.


The piece that really caught my eye was one I saw in Computer Arts magazine called ‘Going Gone Gorilla’ (above) by graphic designer Tom Lane from Ginger Monkey. He decorated a gorilla with hand drawn lettering relating to the illegal bushmeat trade in Africa. The life-size sculpture was then covered in a heat-sensitive black paint to make an interactive show-piece located in the heart of the city centre.


Getting a whole load of different artists or designers to decorate a life-size animal scuplture is not a new idea – I saw the same thing with cows in Bilbao in Spain back in around 2001, but it is an incredibly effective way to capture the public’s imagination and raise awareness, and of course opens it up to a whole array of different responses to the same initial blank canvas, which I think will always make things really exciting.

5. Pandamonium – World Wide Fund for Nature

Charity campaign design image

WWF had a 'Pandamonium' project back in Autumn 2009 that was very similar in concept to 'Wow! Gorillas', in that they took one animal as a subject and asked various artists to create art – in this case by asking very well known artists to re-imagine their defunct giant panda collection boxes (including the one above by Gary Hume) and exhibiting them in an traditional art gallery setting. WWF have created so many amazing campaigns and they were the first ever charity I was inspired to support as a child back in about 1987!

6. WWF Together App – World Wide Fund for Nature

Charity campaign design image
Charity campaign design image

I also really love the WWF Together app for iPad – as soon as I got my ipad I had to download it! Created by international design agency Akqa, the WWF Together app includes interactive stories of endangered animals, with playful interactive elements that incorporate the iPad’s unique features. Origami of each animal folds up, creating an animated video you can share on social networks to spread the word. Complete with stunning high-definition, full-screen videos and image galleries, along with cool and unusual animal facts, this is one seriously visual and elegant app, that has a very serious message to share.

7. Share Aware – NSPCC

Charity campaign design image

I always take notice of TV ads by the NSPCC but whilst looking for one to share here, I stumbled across a recent campaign called ‘Share Aware’ which aims to encourage adults to help their children stay safe on social networks, apps and games.


Leo Burnett Change produced two online one minute videos via YouTube which use cartoon style animation, which is shocking in itself when you compare the innocence of the children portrayed in the videos with the serious implications of the message. I guess it has been created in the same vein as the 1970s ‘Charlie Says’ public information films, which were specifically designed to speak to children. There is one called ‘I saw your Willy’ but the one of ‘Lucy and the Boy’ where a little girl who is mad about pandas almost gets lured into meeting an adult stranger who wants her to send him inappropriate photos in her panda onesie, made me cry.


Apparently #ShareAware was mentioned more than 10,000 times on Twitter during the first month of the campaign which shows how important social networks are as a tool to sharing campaign messages and spreading awareness.

8. Save the Arctic – Greenpeace

Charity campaign design image
Charity campaign design image

Design agency Crush Creative (whose work I have always admired – Boo&Stu have a few graphic design books hanging around our studio that were laid out by them) were asked by Greenpeace to create a 'Save the Arctic' video and website to tell the world about Shell's plan to deal with the “dodgy” Russian oil company Gasprom to drill for oil in the arctic. The video was created to be syndicated around the world and re-languaged to be shared virally in the hope of exposing Shell's Russian Arctic plans. And it worked – big time!!!


The illustrated video uses contemporary trends of geometric shapes in a 3D origami style to make a stylish and memorable animation. But then Greenpeace always do amazing campaigns, so we wouldn’t expect anything less!

9. The Lonely Dodo – Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust

Charity campaign design image

'The Lonely Dodo' is a great video animation (embedded in a simple but visual website) narrated by Stephen Fry and Alistair McGowan, which tells the story of the last lonesome Dodo bird from Mauritius. He searches the world far and wide in the hope of finding another of his kind to share his life.


I think it's the sadness of the lost hope and repetition of him asking ‘Dodo?’ to all the other animals that really pulls on the heartstrings and makes you share the video’s sentiment that they don’t want any more animals to become extinct like the Dodo. Indeed, the campaign simply asks for a share on social networks to spread awareness.


It was created by brand agency The Frameworks and animated by Aardman who make Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep so you know it's going to be good and have a wide appeal.

10. Love Has No Labels – Ad Council

Charity campaign design image

The non-profit Ad Council in the USA led a group of brands to launch a series of public service announcements on behalf of their ‘Love Has No Labels’ digital-first campaign. On Valentines 2014 they filmed people in Santa Monica watching a large x-ray screen created by R/GA, turning on to reveal two skeletons embracing. When they walk out from behind the screen, the audience discovers who they are – highlighting different pairings and encouraging viewers to take a closer look at their own bias.


The public spectacle was designed to fight prejudice between people of different race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, and ability – and show that we are all the same. Apparently the campaign has had a reach of more than 8 million people on Twitter and counting. I found it myself through Facebook and its feel-good factor with the use of music and showing people’s reactions as part of the overall viral, which makes it inspiring and makes you want to share it.

11. The Great British Bee Count – Friends of the Earth

Charity campaign design image

Last Summer 2014 The Great British Bee Count app for Friends of the Earth’s The Bee Cause campaign created a real buzz – literally! Created by design agency twothirdswater and probably helped hugely by being promoted on BBC’s Springwatch, I think the app's success is the result of the fantastic design as a simple, bright, bold and fun app that kids could use too.


People were asked to submit their bee sightings to help create a detailed map to monitor what is happening to bee populations and different species. The app also gave tips on what flowers to plant to help replenish our bee’s lost habitat.

12. The Big Garden Birdwatch – RSPB

Charity campaign design image

The RSPB also did a fantastically designed app for their Big Garden Birdwatch last year which Stu and I enjoyed using to count the species of birds visiting our garden over a one hour period.


Getting people simply counting up, or taking photos of, wildlife (in this case) is such a great way to get people feeling directly involved, and of course hopefully they share their findings with friends and family on their social networks and thus help get even more people involved.


...So that's my list of great charity campaigns, at least for now!


Infographics are another great way to share information, data or campaign news, so look out in future for Boo&Stu’s guide to creating infographics as well as our guides to planning your website and more favourite art and design classics (when we get some more time, but for now it's back to our own design work!!!)...

some of our related projects:

Music of Life

Hounds Off

Cruelty Free International

Illustration / Print for Charity Timeline Infographic

Branding / Responsive Web for Charity for Young People with Disabilities

Branding / Responsive Web / Print for Charity Resource


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