Insight, research & strategy: Cancer Research UK with Unity

Dryathlon

In 2012, Cancer Research UK hit upon a new fundraising idea aimed at encouraging the public to give up alcohol for a month to raise much-needed revenue for the charity. Dryathlon piloted in January 2013 with the simple ask: don’t drink alcohol in the month of January and get your friends to sponsor you.

The challenge was designed to provide social banter and personal benefits at the same time, in order to appeal to the campaign’s target audience of men aged 25 to 45. With support from celebrities, including Olympians Anthony Joshua and Barney Storey, the campaign was promoted throughout the Christmas party season, with targeted media coverage in men’s and women’s print titles.

The campaign proved immensely popular, with 35,000 people taking part, of which 52 per cent were men with an average age of 36. The initiative also raised £4m for Cancer Research UK, making it the charity’s most successful fund-raising project yet, based on first-year results. 

"Making ‘going dry’ manly is a simple, smart insight and there was clearly a lot of thought that informed the launch and media strategy. The results were strong and directly impacted sign-ups and donations"

Anna Wicks Director, MHP (Brand Team)

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