Our Work

The Smith Family

Back to School, Child Sponsorship 2017

Together Marlin and The Smith Family developed the charity’s promise: “to end poverty one student at a time”. One of the key ways the charity does this is through child sponsorship. Sponsorship helps provide disadvantaged Australian children with financial support, access to additional learning support programs, guidance and mentorship.

The Challenge

To recruit over 5,000 child sponsors by developing an integrated campaign that showed prospects the urgent needs of a child living in poverty and lead them not to reach for a band-aid, quick-fix solution, but commit to long-range, meaningful change for poor children through The Smith Family’s child sponsorship program.

The Insight

No child should have to live in poverty. Yet over a million children in Australia do. When all the other children are going back to school in February, the chasm between those who have and those who don’t feels even greater.

We wanted to show our prospects just how bad poverty feels, just how much it hurts day-in-day-out, year after year. We wanted to show them how their immediate action to sponsor a child would stop the hurt today and through education and support, prevent the hurt of poverty in the future.

The Solution

To give insight into what it’s like to be disadvantaged at school, we literally put it up on the wall for all to see. We externalised a child’s thoughts, feelings, self-doubt and hurt. We spelled out the taunts, ridicule and scathing judgements that echo in their minds long after they’re said.

Across short-form channels we relied on the instant impact of the emotionally charged key words and imagery, along with our strong call to action, to drive prospects to action. While long-form communications like DM packs, uses this high impact key frame as an entrée to engage supporters with rich storytelling and build a strong case for child sponsorship through case studies of success.

We subsequently tailored a single-giving appeal using the same strong elements.

What made it Marlin?

Bold and evocative imagery and tight, emotional storytelling gave supporters a unique insight into the interior life of a disadvantaged child. This struck a chord with supporters, to make this a memorable, stand-out campaign for The Smith Family’s child sponsorship program.


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