The GIVING WELLY Campaign

Exhibited by
Sue Comber.
Added
June 10, 2010
Medium of Communication
Event, face to face
Target Audience
Individuals, corporations
Type of Charity
Country of Origin
UK
Date of first appearance
July, 2004.

SOFII’s view

SOFII doesn’t have many rules but this exhibit nevertheless breaks a few of them, in that it focuses not on a charity/nonprofit but on a commercial sponsor. Still, it’s a colourful, creative idea very well executed and several charities benefited rather significantly from it. It strikes us as a sound win-win situation, a good example of both commerce/charity partnership and of charities working together.

Creator / originator

Sue Comber / Mark Sater and Siren PR.

Summary / objectives

The iconic ‘Hunter’ brand of Wellington boots celebrated its fiftieth anniversary with an initiative designed to raise funds for a consortium of charities, including Marie Curie Cancer Care, the British Lung Foundation and the Woodland Trust.

Background

Hunter produced a limited edition range of special, coloured “Giving Welly” boots. Eight charities were selected by Hunter to be partners and beneficiaries of funds raised over an initial 12 - but then 18- month period.

Each charity was allocated a colour that broadly reflected their cause –

  • Yellow – Marie Curie Cancer Care.
  • Red – British Lung Foundation.
  • Aubergine – the Woodland Trust.Navy
  • Blue – the Game Conservancy.
  • Baby Blue – Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity.
  • Pink – Breast Cancer Haven.
  • Black – The British Horse Society.
  • The Countryside Foundation for Education was allocated all the children’s wellies.

Each pair of boots carried a ticket giving the name of the benefiting charity – with brief details of its work – and a description of the project. A web site was produced – and links from the Hunter site to each of the charities were put in place.

Launched by Country Life magazine, the Giving Welly campaign immediately gathered momentum, all the charities were proactive in marketing the boots and celebrities soon began to appear in the colours. Kate Moss and Angelina Jolie both ensured massive sales, participants in the Varsity Match and the Boat Race teams (both university sporting events) all wore coloured wellies and we capitalised on the various charities key events to gain more publicity and more sales.

Special characteristics

A diverse group of charities worked closely together for almost 18 months. Relationships were formed outside the project itself – i.e. British Horse Society arranged riding for the Rainbow Trust children, The Woodland Trust and the Game Conservancy cooperated on a squirrel count. There was cooperation too among the larger charities – Marie Curie Cancer Care helped the smaller charities with advice on events. The working relationships around this event were excellent.

Influence / impact

Hunter achieved its aims of celebrating its fiftieth birthday in a unique and attention-getting way, its profile was raised and it launched a new range of coloured boots, away from its former rather staid image.

There has been a real awareness of what an impact a fairly small company and eight diverse charities can do to generate a huge amount of publicity – and get money too.

Detail

Knowing that the celebrity effect would have an enormous impact on sales, we sent free boots to as many public faces as we could. Those celebrities who supported the charities all wore their boots for photographs, but it was the one-off shot – for example, Kate Moss at Glastonbury – which really made sales soar.

Contracts were designed to take into account the different requirements of each charity, this took some time to get right, but eventually we achieved a contract acceptable to everyone. We were very careful to set out exactly the return on each pair of boots sold – for the charities. We gave this again on the website.

Costs

The cost to Hunter is not available – but was paid from their marketing budget.

Results

Hunter made a charitable donation of between £1.75 and £20 for each pair of special ‘Giving Welly’ boots sold, depending on where they were purchased. In the UK we finished with a total of just under £250,000 being raised for the charities, with some colours – notably pink, being much more popular than others. A huge amount of publicity was gained for the project and for each individual charity. Hunter then took the pink boots to the USA for a partnership with a cancer charity – and to Ireland, for a partnership with the major Irish charity Concern – with a strap line of ‘Give Poverty the Boot’.

Merits

Charities rarely work together on this scale – especially such diverse ones. We think this is a unique cause related marketing (CRM) project, which will, no doubt, be replicated.

The colourful centrepiece product certainly helped this sparkling corporate and charity promotion.
The Giving Welly team at the launch at the Game Fair, Blenheim - with each charity representative wearing their own colour welly.
The Hunter Birthday cake being cut by the Duke of Marlborough to launch Giving Welly.