Sponsored kids bring Plan International activity to life

Plan_TV1_WebPlan International UK has launched a new integrated campaign through WPN Chameleon, part created by and starring children who are sponsored by the charity’s donors in what is claimed to be a first for the sector.
WPNC was appointed to the brief, following a four-way pitch, to develop the new campaign, featuring a TV ad and a range of online marketing, from digital films to Facebook activity, to engage and convert potential donors.
Plan International UK – which focuses on children’s rights – wanted the campaign to engage people within a local community in Ghana as part of a journey across channels.
The resultant activity, “See For Yourself”, includes a 90-second DRTV execution and digital assets such as banner ads, shorter videos and a behind-the-scenes film to be hosted on Plan International UK’s website. Clips will also be posted on social channels including YouTube and Facebook.
The work, which goes live this week, will run alongside the charity’s ongoing marketing initiatives and focuses on the empowering aspects of sponsoring a child through Plan International UK.
WPNC proposed the best way to allow supporters and potential donors to understand the difference their gift can make was to give sponsored children the unique chance not just to appear in the ad, but also to help plan and film it.
WPNC’s director of TV and film Maria Phillips said: “Giving children a voice is a core value for Plan International UK. We believe letting the kids own the ad is a first for the charity sector. Seeing the work that money raised can be used for, through the children’s eyes, has created what we hope is a feel-good, authentic campaign.”
A team of six people from WPNC and Plan International UK spent just over a week in the village in Ghana. The documentary-style approach to filming – as opposed to the crew arriving with a rigid script in mind – meant it was possible to capture a variety of footage, from scenes in the local community, to the children’s own stories, and interviews with Plan International UK staff that the youngsters conducted. All of this footage will be used as part of an ongoing digital content strategy extending beyond the initial campaign.
The team worked with a group of children, predominantly girls aged five to 14, to script and shoot footage for the ad and digital campaign. They initially took part in a planning workshop to discuss how the ad would look, and were then given handheld video cameras to capture scenes in the village and in their homes.
In the ad, the children explain how sponsorship has improved the village school, water supply and health provision. It ends with the serious message that many children still need help. There is a call to action with a number for viewers to text for a callback outlining in-depth information about sponsorship, and encouragement for people to go online to find out more about the children involved in the ad.
The camera equipment used on the shoot has been left with Plan Ghana employees to allow children to continue to take footage for future executions.
Plan International UK fundraising director Alan Gosschalk said: “The children were very excited to be part of the decision-making process and tell the story of how sponsorship has helped their community. That joy comes through in the films.”
Phillips added: “It was a brilliant experience, a great pleasure to be part of the community for a week. The campaign is a step-change for us as an agency, as well as Plan International UK. It’s brave to try something different but we think it can be effective. We’re really proud of it and we hope people will enjoy watching it and want to sponsor more children.”

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