Bright Blue Day

Core disciplines: Branded content, CRM/Customer engagement, Digital, Integrated marketing

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Mayday Campaign



Storytelling creates huge spike in donations

In 2014 the RNLI took a regional idea from their Irish team and set BBD the challenge to make Mayday 2015 a national event. The RNLI wanted to broaden its base of donors and volunteers, as well as increase awareness of the RNLI’s work across the country.

There were a number of challenges BBD had to overcome in delivering a successful campaign, these included:

Develop an owned property that grabbed the attention of the general public in amongst a very crowded charity marketplace


Develop a messaging structure that worked through the volunteer network of over 30,000 people and engaged with the general public, driving donations and interaction


Reposition the way RNLI talk about lives saved, from a statistical focus of “27 lives saved” to a more emotive creative and messaging


Ensure hyper local creative adapts were possible for adoption through 237 lifeboat stations around the country


Deliver against the targets set by the RNLI



We responded with a hard-hitting campaign that went beyond the stereotype of fishermen lost at sea to everyday people enjoying Britain’s coastline. Anyone can get into trouble on the water – someone’s mum or dad, someone’s little boy, someone’s wife. So loved ones became the central theme of the creative. We singled out real-life individual stories of lives that would have been lost if it hadn’t been for the volunteer lifeboat crew.

To tell the story, the MayDay campaign reunited crew members with the individuals they’d saved and their loved ones – creating moments of genuine emotion. Other executions featured real volunteers and fundraisers – equally important to the overall campaign.

The campaign ran around the May Day weekend because it is the first weekend of the year that sees people head to the beaches and onto the water. Activity spanned regional print media, outdoor, and digital and social channels. Volunteers at lifeboat stations across the UK were also given a marketing kit featuring posters and leaflets.

The results were staggering with the biggest spike in donations the RNLI has ever seen in a five-day period.


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