Plan International turns a goat into an influencer

GG the Goatfluencer features in 350 pieces of content that show different donors the Gifts of Hope that appeal most to them.

Plan International is putting its own spin on the occasionally performative way Canadians talk about social change, creating its own influencer to show people how they can have a real impact through the Gift of Hope initiative.

The organization is introducing a new ambassador, GG the Goatfluencer, as the fresh face for its 15-year-old “Gifts of Hope” program in a campaign designed to drive donations during the holiday season, an important time of year for many fundraising organizations.

“We know many Canadians are searching for ways to move beyond performative social actions and give meaningfully,” says Marta Hooper, ECD at Doug&Partners, which developed the campaign. “We wanted to find a way to remind Canadians of the true intent and generous spirit of gift giving by shifting their focus to the gifts they can give and the immense impact those gifts can have on peoples’ lives.”

The idea for the Goatfluencer was born through “a strong ‘test and learn’ philosophy,” Hooper explains. The Gifts of Hope campaign has always relied on the fact that it can point to the tangible impacts that donors create, such as giving a child school supplies or getting clean water to a community. But within that, the gift of the goat has become both a highly motivating proposition for the target donor, but also an ownable asset for the campaign itself.

“Goats have been effective at engaging our core donor base in the past, but we’ve tested and expanded into many more digital and social channels, and we knew that we needed an ambassador that could carry our brand narrative across those channels in a seamless and thumb-stopping way,” says Hooper. “That’s where GG, our Goatfluencer, comes in: they literally bring the notion of giving a goat to life in a fun, accessible and playful way.”

GG and Plan International Canada’s global ambassador, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, feature in a series of digital spots that have rolled out across paid video, digital TV, social media and other targeted platforms. All told, more than 350 customized digital and social units have been developed for the campaign.

“We’ve witnessed the rise of ephemeral, short-format video content which can travel easily across media, with the number of hours spent consuming and making this content exceeding any other online habit,” says Hooper. “We wanted to contribute to this trend, so we went video-first and introduced our own influencer, GG the Goatfluencer, to help our message and story translate to each and every placement.”

The campaign is being tracked and optimized by Doug&Partners and media agency The Aber Group. It incorporates a number of tailored messages targeted to specific groups, including young adults with long lists and small budgets, as well as socially conscious families who want to expand their childrens’ thinking and teach good global citizenship during what is typically a materialistic holiday.

The campaign launched in mid-October – Doug&Partners “anticipated that holiday shopping will start earlier this year” – and is “off to a promising start,” Hooper says, having surpassed its revenue goal for the first two weeks.