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We wanted to test whether gamifying giving might engage young men in giving for Red Nose Day 2013, by creating ‘Britain’s Biggest Fart App’, a smartphone based game which enables you to make a friend’s phone fart (whilst making an SMS donation to Comic Relief).

Downloaded 100,000 times for Red Nose Day, 60% of game players were under 30 and 53% of them men and almost half were first time fundraisers.

You might also be interested in gamifying giving, how to get 100,000 downloads – part 1, or the science of farts.

How do you get 100,000 downloads?

We think it starts with designing it into your app.

It’s about understanding your audience (you do have a target audience in mind and you know how and where to find them right?).

Go where your audience lives

Think about who you are targeting.

What interests them, how do they use technology, what’s the pattern of their daily life, what relationships do they have between their peers and what do they usually think of charity?

We knew from early research the young men (under 35) that we were targeting were pretty resistant to traditional charity messages but liked gameplay, were addicted to their mobiles and were very social.

We tested that with these quick concept ads on facebook (the second one got three times the click through with men 25-35 than the first).

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One click to download

If our marketing objective wasn’t clicks but to get users to download the app – we had to be in the medium they used (mobile) where they could initiate a download in one click.

More tightly targeted mobile advertising delivered a click through of between 0.41% to 1.25% vs traditional web advertising click through of 0.10% – 0.15%.

Mobile advertising delivered better audience targeting and a better ‘one click’ to download user experience.

Make your ads creative and as much fun as the app

Mobile ad space is pretty small, so we worked with the team at M&C Saatchi Mobile to push creative boundaries – using a mixture of animated mobile ads like this:

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…. and fully interactive mobiles ads which expand to occupy full screen and allowed players to take a quiz to see what kind of fart they were – so they could experience all the fun of the game before they downloaded. We believe the combination of this creative approach and better targeting on mobile explains the higher click through rates described above.

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Paid media ‘cut through’ and got us noticed

In a world of a million apps it’s hard to cut through.

We decided to concentrate our paid advertising into two short sharp bursts, using ‘app of the day’ service App Gratis and later Surikate alongside other mobile advertising to cut through, drive up rankings in the app store and get noticed.

Thank-you to Mojiva, Greystripe, InMobi, Surikate, App Gratis, M&S Saatchi, IPC and Haymarket Media who all donated media space for this experiment.

The table below shows the Fart apps daily ranking in the app store.

It shows the success of this strategy. It also shows how quickly every new app fades from the top of the table. From No 1 to the entertainment category to 178th in 7 days. The app store really is that harsh.

It’s another reason to test and test with consumers before you set out to create your ad driven spike of consumer interest.

Date

Overall

Entertainment

16-Feb-13

856

17-Feb-13

550

18-Feb-13

425

19-Feb-13

14

1

20-Feb-13

14

1

21-Feb-13

16

1

22-Feb-13

21

2

23-Feb-13

29

3

24-Feb-13

34

4

25-Feb-13

52

5

26-Feb-13

91

16

27-Feb-13

241

33

28-Feb-13

571

65

01-Mar-13

1106

131

02-Mar-13

1498

172

03-Mar-13

176

04-Mar-13

178

05-Mar-13

178

06-Mar-13

162

07-Mar-13

1447

163

08-Mar-13

1303

143

09-Mar-13

1474

169

10-Mar-13

169

11-Mar-13

176

12-Mar-13

174

13-Mar-13

1250

137

14-Mar-13

14

2

15-Mar-13

20

2

Social media, sharing and word of mouth delivered 80% of downloads

Our paid media delivered a fifth of the total downloads.

Together App Gratis and Surikate drove 14,000 downloads and created an immediate impact. Direct click throughs from other mobile advertising drove another 4-5,000.

In terms of cost we focused on a CPD (cost per download) rather than clicks. The majority of downloads were delivered for a CPD of between £1.61 and £3.49.

This got the ball rolling and social media, in app recommendation and word of mouth built momentum and generated the remaining four fifths of downloads. Comic Relief’s large following on Twitter and Facebook with many people of the key demographic will have undoubtedly helped.

And that’s how we got 100,000 downloads.

TheGivingLab offers innovation consulting, consumer research and digital design to help charities change and grow. Contact us: change@thegivinglab.org