Core disciplines: Advertising/Creative, CRM/Customer engagement, Integrated marketing



Medicins sans Frontiere were experiencing reduced response rates to their emergency appeals, sent to supporters. We suspected donor fatigue, and suggested a little disruption was in order to turn this around for their 2017 NE Nigeria Appeal.







MSF are a strikingly different charity, in both how they position themselves and the donors they attract. Forget Dorothy donor, she is not the core audience here, MSF attract savvy, educated and informed individuals of a lower age bracket with higher disposable income.

The audience are often from a professional background, many of whom are involved in the medical world, so have an understanding of the logistics required to deliver service in war torn or disaster hit areas.

MSF have a strict contact policy and take great care to treat their donors with upmost respect, only asking directly for cash donations once a year. (Donors give un-asked off the back of quarterly newsletters, but only the annual emergency appeal contains a direct ask.)

Therefore, the emergency appeal needs to pack a punch. We were careful not to stray into educating the audience on the political or disaster area MSF are working in, as they will undoubtedly be aware and have their own opinion of the situation. We are solely focused on our heroes – the doctors and their support staff in often horrendous conditions.




This very different audience are not afraid of the facts, and want to see detail. We adopted a graphic novel style for the DM pack – this allowed us to bring the awful situation in NE Nigeria to life in a way that would have been impossible with photography, either because the images didn’t exist (as the crisis was just unfolding) or because they would have been too shocking to use in the pack.

We knew this approach would be disruptive format – this was very different to anything MSF supporters had previously received. Sending the booklet and letter in a poly outer allowed us to create intrigue as soon as the pack landed on the doormat


ROI was up by


compared to 2016 Emergency Appeal



in income compared to 2016 Emergency Appeal

An increase of

OVER 2,000

individual cash donations compared to 2016 Emergency Appeal


As soon as the mailing started to land, we saw a dramatic and immediate uplift in response, when compared to the previous year’s emergency campaign. Response rates were up across all customer groups and average donation level also exceeded expectation

The new format with slightly higher production costs proved it was worth the investment, by delivering a higher ROI than the previous year. Anecdotal feedback from donors, and importantly those in the field, was very positive – as huge boost as field support of marketing activity is vital to fuel further content generation.


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