Organization: DoSomething.org (New York, NY)
Duration: August 13 to 19, 2013
Budget: about $2,500 for staff time
DoSomething.org is a nonprofit that empowers13- to 25-year-olds to take action to benefit causes they personally care about. On July 30, the group launched a Birthday Mail campaign calling for young people to make birthday cards for homeless children for the chance to win a $4,000 college scholarship.
Shortly thereafter, the in-house marketing team realized that actor John Stamos, well-known for his role in the ABC sitcom Full House, would celebrate his 50th birthday on August 19 and decided to use the occasion to raise awareness of the Birthday Mail campaign.
Marketing associate Colleen Wormsley notes that Full House runs in syndication on several networks and is still very relevant to DoSomething.org's audience.
“John Stamos' 50th birthday was nostalgic, Millennials love 1990s nostalgia, and there was an obvious connection to the Birthday Mail campaign,” explains CMO Naomi Hirabayashi. “We created a fun social and digital campaign in honor of his birthday to get more people to sign up for Birthday Mail.”
In honor of Stamos' 50th birthday young people were asked to make 50,000 birthday cards for homeless kids by October 11. The campaign was promoted through social media channels and DoSomething.org. Stamos' birthday was also used as a hook to drive celebrity support and earned coverage.
“Celebrity and pop culture are both aligned with the DoSomething.org brand and both are very, very powerful means to get the word out and inspire action,” Hirabayashi adds. “Plugging into [current events and pop culture] helps us create a concrete tie to taking action beyond just having ‘do-good conversations.'”
Full House cast members, other celebrities who have relationships with Stamos, DoSomething.org, and USA Network (Stamos appeared in the network's show Necessary Roughness) were asked to promote the campaign using #StamosDay on their social media pages.
The DoSomething.org homepage and the Birthday Mail microsite were dedicated to Stamos for the week leading up to his birthday.
All tweets on DoSomething.org's Twitter page on August 19 were related to Stamos. Stamos-related content was also posted to DoSomething.org's Facebook and Instagram pages.
Online media outlets, bloggers, and social media influencers focused on entertainment or likely to cover Stamos' birthday were pitched.
The Birthday Mail microsite got 5,634 unique visitors on August 19, up more than 200% compared to average daily traffic prior to July 30, 2013.
The number of new members who signed up for the Birthday Mail campaign on August 19 was 94% above previous daily signups.
Through August 18, about 52,200 people had signed up for the Birthday Mail campaign (12,561 cards were sent). By October 11, the campaign garnered 96,583 sign-ups and 83,356 cards sent.
Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram impressions hit 19.2 million, 188,855, and 55,235, respectively.
Seven earned stories ran in outlets including Buzzfeed, Today.com, RYOT.org, and Cosmopolitan.com.Future
In partnership with AARP Foundation's “Mentor Up” program, DoSomething.org is currently running a “Grandparents Gone Wired” campaign that encourages young people to help older adults with digital proficiency.