“One crisis has caused another.” How did this campaign bring support and love to those who are in 999? [Thursdays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]
Miles Everson’s Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more.
A Note from Miles Everson:
Happy Thursday and welcome to “Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing!”
For those of you who don’t know it yet, guerrilla marketing is an unconventional marketing strategy. Campaigns of this type work most of the time because they’re easy to appreciate and execute.
I personally enjoy reading about these stunts. They remind me that sparking emotional reactions that lead to high engagement rates and lasting brand recall doesn’t always have to be too complex.
In today’s article, we’d like to share with you an example of a heartwarming guerrilla marketing campaign.
Read on to know what one health institution in the U.K. did to bring comfort and assurance to frontline workers during the critical moments of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021.
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Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing
“When we need help, we call 999.
… but who do you call, if YOU are 999?”
The last 3 years have been incredibly challenging and life-changing for many across the globe. With the COVID-19 pandemic, lots of people lost their jobs, businesses, lives, and their loved ones’ lives.
For many of us, it’s excruciating to look back on these drastic events that impacted us at the peak of the health crisis… but did you know there’s a certain group of people who felt twice the pain we felt during those times?
Disclaimer: We’re not here to invalidate your emotions in those challenging years. What we’re simply saying is that back then, there were those who fought their battles silently because they had to be strong so they could do their job of helping those in critical need.
These people are our frontline workers.
Photo from World Economic Forum
According to a 2021 study from U.K. charity Frontline19, while some people dared to imagine a world after COVID-19, around 3 million National Health Service (NHS) and frontline workers carried the image of the health crisis with them every day.
In fact, 2 out of 5 NHS workers were suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during that period. That’s double the rate found in military veterans with recent combat experience!
As Frontline19 said:
“One crisis has caused another.”
So, to change that narrative, the U.K. charity partnered with marketing agency adam&eveDDB to launch a campaign on Emergency Services Day in September 2021.
The name of that campaign?
Hopeline19 was a national phone service that aimed to connect the public with NHS and other frontline workers. It enabled people in the U.K. to call and leave a message of support, gratitude, love, and appreciation for those who worked in incredibly challenging and life-changing ways for months—even years—on end.
How did the helpline work?
During the campaign’s run, anyone could call 0808 19 665 19 for free, 24/7. Radio broadcaster Dermot O’Leary’s pre-recorded voice would then answer the call. From there, people were instructed to “Press 1” to leave a message or “Press 2” to listen to messages.
The campaign was featured on various media outlets to boost its exposure to the public. NHS and other frontline workers who dialed the helpline were able to listen to messages of support and feel encouraged.
Through Frontline19’s campaign, more people were inspired to keep the conversation going and break the taboos surrounding emotional well-being and mental health.
The entire U.K. also saw a kind of unity where people from all walks of life were just supporting each other at a time when everyone needed one another the most.
Isn’t that amazing AND heartwarming?
It definitely is!
The campaign’s helpline was also accompanied by a TV commercial, print ads, and ambient media to further expand its reach.
Was Frontline19’s Hopeline19 campaign effective?
The campaign lasted for the whole month of September 2021. During that period, millions of concerned citizens left their messages for NHS and other frontline workers to listen to. They made sure these groups of people would never feel alone and always remember that someone out there is grateful for all their sacrifices.
Here are the results of the campaign:
- Hopeline19 garnered over 35 million social media impressions throughout its duration.
- For a month, Frontline19 recorded around 6,000 calls from the public every day through Hopeline19. That’s more than 71,000 minutes of support delivered to frontline workers.
- The campaign was featured in news from several media outlets like BBC News, The Nursing Times, The London Economic, Campaign Live, ITV, and more.
- The campaign bagged 1 Black Pencil, 2 Graphite Pencils, 2 Wood Pencils, and 3 Shortlists at the D&AD Awards in 2022.
Congratulations, Frontline19 and adam&eveDDB!
These numbers and recognitions clearly show that the Hopeline19 campaign was successful in bringing hope and support to the people who usually support us in times of emergencies.
Unless you are an NHS or any other frontline worker, you probably have little idea of what these people have been through over the past 3 years.
Sure, you may have seen snippets on the news or in newspapers, but what you haven’t had is firsthand experience of the trauma that these workers have gone through on a daily basis during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Staying away from home…
Helping keep the nation safe…
Looking after sick people in indescribably challenging and dangerous situations…
According to Claire Goodwin-Fee, founder of Frontline19, what she and her team aimed to do with Hopeline19 was to let frontline workers know they aren’t alone—that the public hasn’t forgotten about them, their sacrifices, and their HUGE efforts in such an extraordinary time.
In her words:
“We hope to highlight the inadequate support for the NHS et al. in processing this trauma and also break the taboo that is often a key factor in stopping people from seeing support. We also aim to reach more people to offer support with counseling and training, funding to achieve a long-term platform to creative, positive, and sustainable change for many.”
Get inspired by today’s feature!
As you can see from our topic, guerrilla marketing is not just used to promote a brand and engage with people but also to raise social awareness about a particular issue.
… and while Frontline19 is a non-profit organization, that doesn’t mean its example is not applicable to your business. You can create these kinds of campaigns for your enterprise too!
Besides, awareness-raising guerrilla marketing is not limited to charities and non-profit organizations. When you conduct these campaigns, your target market will see your brand in a good light and will likely be encouraged to interact with you.
They will see you as a brand that cares not only about profit but also about the constituents you serve.
So, what are you waiting for?
Consider conducting heartwarming guerrilla marketing strategies that are relevant to your business too and be a source of inspiration to your target audience!
(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.)
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Thursdays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing”
Jay Conrad Levinson (1984) said that Guerrilla Marketing “works because it’s simple to appreciate, easy to execute, and inexpensive.”
Guerrilla Marketing is unconventional.
Looking beyond the traditional ways of advertising, marketers, and advertisers need to spice things up in order for their brand to have campaigns that not only make an impact but also stick to their target market’s mind.
Guerrilla Marketing usually aims to have direct contact with consumers.
This type of direct contact should spark an emotional reaction that leads to consumers effectively remembering the brand.
It’s about making a big impression and making that impression last a long time (if not forever).
Guerrilla Marketing can be inexpensive.
The effect of this is being able to create a buzz around the brand, and the strategy used to market it. Almost everything is passed around through word-of-mouth.
Word-of-mouth is one of the greatest outcomes and it usually doesn’t cost anything.
This is every business’ or brand’s dream!
Every Thursday, we publish tips, examples, and other useful content on unconventional ways of marketing and promotion.
Learn more about how to grab your target market’s attention and make an amazing first and lasting impression without having to spend a lot of money.
Businesses don’t really need to spend much for a guerrilla campaign. You do not need a big budget to be successful. You just need creativity and a good imagination.
Hope you’ve found this week’s guerrilla marketing insight interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next Thursday’s Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing!
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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