With consumer attention spans seemingly getting shorter, certainly harder to attract and maintain, we wanted to take a look at some of the best ways in which charities have been able to engage their audiences by involving them in their content to create interesting and brand specific experiences.
The website uses the viewer’s webcam to detect and track eye and facial movement. Maintain eye contact and an emotional video begins, the viewer playing the role of a child seeing their mother for the first time, their bandages being removed following a life-changing surgery. Looking away causes the film to pause and fade away with a message asking the viewer not to look away.
Once the film is finished, viewers are encouraged to share through social media and to donate.
Unique and compelling in equal measure, this was able to connect with people on an emotional level, making them more likely to take positive action. Where most people overlook charity causes or lose interest in their message, this demonstrates the power of a simple gesture and how that can make a big difference.
The all-important and ever illusive feeling of empathy is created by offering the viewer a perspective they more than likely won’t have had before. Whilst the same story could be told just as easily through copy or still imagery, involving the consumer in the content, in this case recognising and alerting them should their concentration wane, allows for better articulation of the story and its context. Not only does this stimulate and engage them but the content reacts to their input in real time. The result is an increased emotional investment from the viewer as they aren’t just seeing or reading about it, they are actually having the experience for themselves. This enhances the likelihood of them staying with the content through to completion, increasing the potential click through rate and the numbers going further and responding to the calls to action.
The Don’t Look Away microsite received 95,000 views in the first 4 weeks alone with 114 countries reached and the campaign seeing a total of $4million donated to the charity. At the time of writing, 106465 people haven’t looked away. It was shortlisted for a Webby Award in the Charitable Organization/Non-Profit Category.
Other charitable causes and organisations have approached their briefs with similar philosophies. Action Against Hunger’s Echoes of Tsunami microsite by 84.Paris immerses the viewer in its content by using their webcam and headphones, asking them to close their eyes and listen to various recordings from the 2004 Asian Tsunami. This transports them to those environments and allows them to imagine and relive the experiences of the local people. They can then experience the events from different locations or click through to the main website to find out about and support the cause 15 years on. The I-Remember microsite for Fondation Recherche Medicale by CLM BBDO has people upload their memories in order to sustain the content flow and even presence of the website. Serving as a live and interactive representation of Alzheimer’s, should people stop sharing, their posts will begin to erase and the site will slowly disappear.
These unique and highly creative concepts highlight the importance of the user experience in driving engagement and retention rates. Keeping the viewer’s attention by involving them and making them an active component of the content increases the likelihood that they will engage for the duration of it. This allows the message time to get across and to resonate, hopefully triggering an emotional response and making the viewer more likely to respond to any calls to action.
Alex is a Digital Content Coordinator at Copper