Big Sisters gets right to the point

The non-profit has launched a campaign with ads that air for a few seconds to illustrate the small amount of time required to be a volunteer.

In an effort to boost volunteer numbers, the Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland enlisted DDB to create a pro bono campaign that has shortened TV, radio and print ads to communicate the organization’s new message.

“The barrier for women getting involved with the Big Sisters is that there is this perception that it takes a lot of time,” says Daryl Gardiner, associate  creative director, DDB Canada, Vancouver, noting that some think that volunteering takes up to eight hours a week, when it’s (on average) only a two-hour commitment. “We thought, what better way to [change that perception] than by using the media and having the advertising take less of people’s time.”

The “Being a Big Sister takes less time than you think” campaign mirrors the message of a short time commitment in TV ads that air for seven seconds, radio ads that last five seconds and small space print ads. A Big Sister is shown giving a young girl advice in the ads, supporting its message of the little time given up when mentoring.

All of the media was handled in-house, with the Big Sisters of Lower Mainland distributing the PSA material to channels, stations and publications to air and print at their discretion. Gardiner says he hopes the short time span of the ads will provide more airtime as stations might find it easier to slot them into open spots.

Today, the not-for-profit is holding a “Tweetathon,” with bloggers answering advice questions from young girls on Twitter and mimicking what has been done in the campaign advertising, he adds.


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