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Plan Canada's
Because I am a Girl resonates

GOLD :: Not for Profit
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OVERVIEW: This is the Canadian launch of "Because I am a Girl" - an initiative created by Plan International to raise awareness and funds in support of girls in the developing world.

SITUATION ANALYSIS: Plan Canada (better known to many by its former name - Foster Parents Plan) was facing fundraising pressure. They also had an aging donor base, and needed a fresh approach to propel them into the limelight and attract new donors. According to Plan International, girls and women constitute 70% of those living in extreme poverty worldwide, and investing in girls is the most effective way to alleviate this - hence the decision to launch "Because I am a Girl" in Canada.

STRATEGY & INSIGHT: Brand mapping revealed that the campaign must be a fresh, distinctive and inspiring antidote to pity-inducing messages. It also indicated that the story should pivot quickly from a hard-hitting message about the plight of girls to an inspiring message about their power to change the world.

EXECUTION: To differentiate from "flies on eyes" messaging, the campaign did not use any photography whatsoever. All creative was text-based, inspired by the 1990s political text art of Jenny Holzer and Barbara Kruger. Bold statements such as "Hope," "Power," and "Are you the one?" defined the campaign, while an overall manifesto ad conveyed the plight and power of girls in eight simple lines. The campaign launched in Summer 2009, and included a microsite, TV spots, wild postings, transit posters, print, media sponsorship, PR and a school tour across Ontario and Canada.

RESULTS: The Gifts of Hope component of the campaign raised $1.6 million in FY2010, versus $411K in the prior year. A "Girl Appeal" letter raised $220,000 (more than double its objective) and online donations, at $108K, were 8% above target. The message also attracted corporate partnerships, so that the overall cash and media value created by the campaign was $3.2 million. Finally, and an excellent sign for the future, 79% of unique visitors were between 10 and 30 years of age, compared to a previous donor base that was typically in their late 50s.

CAUSE & EFFECT: There were no current events, major news items, competitive campaigns, or other potential causes that could explain the success of the campaign, other than this new effort, which was the single most significant marketing effort in the history of Plan Canada.

Plan Canada
Paula Roberts - Executive Vice President, Marketing and Development
Natalie Williams - Director Marketing
Lori Miller - Marketing Manager
Leanne Nicolle - Director, Corporate Partnerships & Youth Engagement
Lesa O'Brien - Director, New Media
Christina Doyle - Marketing Specialist
Bev Kinkaid - Manager, Strategic Communications
Cathy Wallace - Director, Development
Jeff Cornett - Director of Donor Loyalty
Stephanie Beattie - Director, Strategic Communications
Sonja Andic - Communications Consultant
Craig Goodwill - Director/Filmmaker

Syd Kessler - Creative Leader
Wahn Yoon - Team Leader & Strategist
Jacob Kessler - Partner
Ilya Strashun - Account Manager
Gina Lijoi, Julie Geller, Jennifer Cummins
- Digital Project Managers
Isaac Apter - Account Co-ordinator
Stewart Barton - Media Planner & Buyer
Margaret Jeronimo-Andrews - Art Director
Su Bundock - Copy Writer
Mark Petch - Intern/Account Manager

John Datseris - Digital & Social Media Strategist
Fran Rutherford - Senior Project Manager
Global Mechanic - Animation Production
Secret Location - Digital Production