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Nothing Speaks Louder than Silence
Buying “A Minute of Silence”

anzac2014Very often we tend to focus on the newest, high-technology aspects of mobile marketing. Somehow it seems that the latest features must be the most important for attracting consumers.

But every once in awhile we see a campaign that reminds us that in fact, marketing is all about engaging people at an emotional level – this is what really counts.

Take a look at this campaign that was put together to help drive donations for the Anzac Appeal in Australia this year.

The Anzac Appeal

The Anzac Appeal takes place each April in Australia just prior to Anzac day. It is a fund raising drive for the RSL (Returned & Services League), an organization that provides many types of support for Australian veterans as well as their families.

This year, the RSL decided to include a mobile component in their fund raising drive to widen the appeal. They worked with DDB, Mango, and Tribal Worldwide, and the result is the Minute of Silence campaign.

anzac-quote1According to ANZAC Appeal national spokesperson and Afghanistan veteran Damien Thomlinson, the Minute of Silence is intended to enable anyone with access to a phone to support the Appeal.

“The fundraising landscape is changing and to enhance the valuable work that the RSL’s traditional fundraisers do by selling ANZAC badges on the streets of cities and towns across the country, the Minute of Silence will allow Australians to support the cause directly from their mobile phone or landline,” says Thomlinson.

The Minute of Silence

The centerpiece of the campaign was an actual “Minute of Silence”, recorded in the presence of 80 currently serving and former Australian Defense Force members and their families. This included veterans from recent conflicts such as Afghanistan and Iran, as well as from World War 2, Korea and Vietnam.

Donors were then requested to dial a special number in order to listen to this minute of silence on their mobile. The idea is that this would give the donor a moment to pause and reflect on the contributions made by the veterans, just as they would at a one of the Anzac memorial services.

For each call, a donation of AUS$ 2.25 was sent automatically to the RSL fund. The intent was to make this as easy and seamless as possible, without the need for a credit card or a mobile app, and was accomplished by charging the donation directly onto the supporter’s phone bill.

anzac-thankyou-videoAfter listening to the minute of silence message, each donor received an SMS link to continue the engagement. Clicking on the link led to a recorded video message of thanks from one of the RSL veterans. In this type of emotion driven campaign, social media can be an excellent way to spread awareness, so of course there was also a means to share with friends.

A link to a special Minute of Silence website was also provided. On the website, donors could see lots of additional information about the charity, the appeal, and most importantly, the personal stories of the 80 people who participated in making the recording. For example, many of them shared what thoughts they had had during that Minute of Silence.

Initial publicity

A wide variety of publicity was used to initially inform the public about the campaign. TV, outdoor posters, radio, and tram billboards were all used. In addition, special publicity was aired during the big sports matches in Australia on Anzac Day.


One other very clever marketing tactic – a special short film was produced for use in cinemas which requested the audience to make one last phone call to the donation number before switching of their phone for the film!

Great results

anzac-twitterAs soon as the campaign was launched, it clearly touched many people, and they began to call in. They also shared the campaign, and within 3 days it was the #3 trending topic on Twitter.

Overall, the campaign generated over $2million worth of free and earned media. And it won a Golden Lions at the Cannes Lions event.

But most importantly, the campaign managed to raise over $3 million for the RSL programs.

Darren Spiller, executive creative director of DDB Melbourne summed up the campaign saying: “At first glance you think we are asking people to buy nothing, but as you delve deeper into the campaign you realise that you get a whole lot. Memories, stories, learnings, sorrows, reflections and resolve. It’s amazing what a minute of silence is really made up of.”

Here is a short video about the campaign.

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