HOW TO LAUNCH A BUSINESS AND RAISE $50K IN 50 HOURS

TitleHOW TO LAUNCH A BUSINESS AND RAISE $50K IN 50 HOURS
ClientWHO GIVES A CRAP
Product / ServiceWHO GIVES A CRAP TOILET PAPER
CategoryB03. Corporate Reputation
EntrantNAKED COMMUNICATIONS Cremorne, AUSTRALIA
Entrant Company NAKED COMMUNICATIONS Cremorne, AUSTRALIA
Media Agency NAKED COMMUNICATIONS Cremorne, AUSTRALIA

The Campaign

Who Gives a Crap is an ethical toilet paper company who give 50% of their profits to sanitation projects in developing countries. They needed a way to launch their business and raise $50K to place their first bulk order, all with a marketing budget of $0. With no media budget, the campaign would rely solely on PR and earned media to reach it’s goals. Given the short lifecycle of internet content and the fact that good causes often fall victim to ‘slactivism’ (sharing without donation), the challenge was to create a campaign with a sense of urgency that would not only prompt people to talk, but donate too. The idea was to create a ‘time-sensitive’ crowd-funding campaign where the CEO would pledge to stay seated on the toilet until $50K was raised. The rather unique event would be live streamed over the internet. The campaign was launched via a media call and through crowdfunding site Indiegogo.com. To propel the campaign around the web, the CEO interacted live from the loo. He courted media publications by tweeting photos of himself on the loo reading their titles and then thanked donors by writing handwritten notes on WGAC toilet paper, all live-streamed. The campaign generated global coverage in 177 publications and over 2.5 million social impressions. The combination led to 77,000 website visitors, $50K being raised in 50hrs and the prestigious title of being named one of the top crowd-funding campaigns of 2012. (source: http://blog.indiegogo.com/2012/12/top12.html).

The Brief

The goal was to create a campaign that ensured action. Action from the media to cover it, and action from the public sharing and donating towards the $50K goal. Our objectives were simple, but extremely difficult with no paid media support. • Raise $50K by pre-selling toilet paper (donations to the business) • Generate awareness of product via PR • Get 1000 people signed up to mailing list The campaign would need to have mass market appeal to enable widespread media and social ‘talkability’ but also be alternative/innovative enough to speak to progressively minded individuals who were likely to donate.

Results

The campaign was a tremendous success, being named as one of the top Indiegogo campaigns of 2012 (source:blog.indiegogo.com/2012/12/top12.html) The $50K goal was achieved within 50hrs and donations continued for the rest of the week until a final figure of $66,548 was reached. There were a total of 177 mentions across TV, Radio, Print and online media spanning influential global titles such as Fast Company and high reach local outlets such as Channel 10 news, generating an overall estimated value of $1,024,600. In social spaces, the campaign trended on Twitter within Australia and mentions reached 2.5million people, helped by influencers such as TED, Unicef and Guy Kawasaki getting behind the campaign. Finally, the combined social and PR efforts drove 77,324 visitors to the Indiegogo and campaign sites, generated 1366 donators and added 1600 new subscribers to the Who Gives a Crap database.

Execution

The campaign officially launched when the pitch video (which explained the live stream idea) went live, and Simon took his seat on the live stream. A media call immediately followed allowing Simon to explain the pledge and give interviews to traditional media. Between media commitments, we had Simon reach out to influential publications by tweeting live photos of himself reading their magazines, and thank all donors in person with hand-written notes made out to donors on WGAC toilet paper. Both tactics created highly shareable content and proved crucial in generating exposure through social graph pass-on. Media coverage and social outreach was staggered to take advantage of timezones. On day one, the campaign was covered largely in Australasian territories, on day two, the US. Timezone implications meant that there was a steady stream of coverage and donations that continued for days after the $50K was raised.

The Situation

As a start-up with limited money, the company had invested all its funds in product development and refinement. This left Who Gives a Crap in the awkward position of having a great, ethical product, but no cash to fund the first commercial scale order which required $50k. The challenge was set - to launch the product to the world whilst raising $50K. There was no media budget, nor production budget. Only donated time from the agencies and suppliers involved. We needed an ‘earned media’ idea that would generate PR, but also raise $50k in donations!

The Strategy

Conscious of ‘slactivism’ (sharing without donating) and given that there was no paid media budget, the campaign needed a sense of urgency in order to spread across social and traditional media circles and raise the $50K within the life cycle of viral internet content (48-72 hrs usually). Leveraging the behavioural economics principle of scarcity, the strategy was to create the first Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign that was attached to a live, time sensitive component. The CEO (Simon Griffiths) would pledge to sit on the toilet until the $50K was raised and the event, (hairy legs, puns and all) would be streamed live to the world over the internet. All media attention would drive people to the live microsite, where they could learn about the campaign and interact live with Simon over social media. From there, users would either share the microsite, donate to the cause via the linked widget or both.

Credits

Name Company Position
Robin Geradts-Gill Rgg Creative Director
Lach Hall Naked Communications Creative
Matt Houltham Naked Communications Communications Strategist
Adam Ferrier Naked Communications Planner