On Agency

Core disciplines: Advertising/Creative, CRM/Customer engagement



ShelterBox wanted to create an iconic Christmas pack that could compete with big charity campaigns in the busy Christmas marketplace.







The brief was to create a concept as recognisable and, potentially, as long running as The British Red Cross’s Humanity Rose.

So how could a small charity like ShelterBox compete with the big boys? By playing to their major strength. The ShelterBox is an actual green box full of tools to help a person rebuild a life in the wake of disaster and conflict. This tangible, life-saving product had to be our focus.


Our Approach

We knew we had to appeal to supporters' minds as well as their hearts. We wanted to show the impact that a ShelterBox had on a life. So we trawled ShelterBox’s archives and gathered interviews until one person’s story leaped out at us.

Solar had lost her house in a mudslide in Peru. Her life was destroyed, then she received a ShelterBox. She said: “We are at the end of the world. No one visits and brings help. We were so happy to receive a ShelterBox. It was like Christmas in a box.”

This golden nugget of information became the inspiration for ShelterBox’s new campaign – Put Christmas in a Box. A campaign that had longevity and could appeal to the supporter’s desire to take action.

Once we had nailed the concept, we pulled out all of the stops to make this a truly memorable appeal. We ran a fully integrated campaign using direct mail, press ads and digital advertising. We optimised personalisation and used social herding techniques to help supporters feel part of a local movement. We also took the opportunity to boldly ask supporters for a higher gift – £590, the cost of an entire ShelterBox.


This was ShelterBox’s most successful Christmas campaign ever, raising £255,468 in total. It was truly a step change for an organisation of this size.


This campaign is a great example for smaller charities, showing they can compete at Christmas alongside larger charities, if the research, messaging and targeting are right.


1Shares  Twitter   LinkedIn   Facebook   Google+   Send to a friend 
Interact with On Agency