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corporate social responsibility

Insights Into a Perfectly Executed CSR Campaign: Kiwibank's 'I Am Hope'

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a key part of today’s corporate world, where businesses are encouraged to be aware of, and responsible for, the impact that they have on the wider community.

Here at Zavy, we know that engagement drives return. In our ROI study we found that over three quarters of revenue uplift is driven by shares and positive comments, with shares specifically having the highest correlation to ROI. Finding the perfect marketing campaign that marries these two, often opposing, ideas can seem like an insurmountable challenge. However, with a brilliant idea and a well-executed strategy, effective CSR marketing can be achieved.

In the last couple of weeks, Kiwibank has hit the ball out of the park with their wide-reaching and hugely successful I AM HOPE campaign, seeing them shoot to the forefront of forward-thinking CSR giants, gain a significant increase in followers, and see a measurable increase in brand positivity – a spectacular innings.

With the foundations of New Zealand comedian Mike King’s #gumbootupnz and tour of New Zealand schools promoting the awareness of mental health in New Zealand and shedding light on the widespread issue of bullying impacting mental illness in our youth, the good cause already had traction with a Givealittle donation page set up for King’s I AM HOPE charity.

From here, Kiwibank got in behind King in combating the social and mental health issue, and shared a post saying that, for everyone who adds the I AM HOPE frame to their Facebook profile photo, they would donate $1 to the Gumboot Friday account.

The post very quickly gained traction and went viral, and the overall engagement, donations made, and sheer users of the profile frame skyrocketed. The numbers were undeniable.

- Overall $100,000 was donated to Gumboot Friday, a Mental Health Organisation run by Mike King.

- Deeper engagement driven by Facebook ‘shares’ exponentially multiplied, with the average - New Zealander having 128 Facebook friends, the organic views have reached over three-million people.

- In just a week Kiwibank has gained over 7000 new followers on Facebook. To put this in perspective, the month prior to this they only increased by 195.

- As for CSR results? Kiwibank donated a cool $50,000 to the charity, as promised.

Why was this CSR campaign so successful?

Essentially, the Kiwibank I AM HOPE campaign was the perfect storm of elements which allowed for the campaign to really take off, and reach the hearts of Kiwis, prompting them to engage. Here’s a little insight into the recipe that created this highly successful campaign.

A recognizable face:

The inital #gumbootup campaign was built on the solid foundations of a recognizable Kiwi face, comedian Mike King, whose career has spanned across generations of Kiwis. As we learnt from observing the social media trends of 2018, a cosign from an influencer is a sure-fast way to gain the trust and attention of an audience who might otherwise turn a blind eye.

When Kiwis saw this CSR campaign, it was attached to a face they were familiar with, prompting them to hit that ‘try it now’ call to action.

A recognizable brand:

The Kiwibank brand is inherently a New Zealand owned corporation, with branding that reflects the familiar ideas of nationalism that Kiwis are so fond of. When New Zealanders see Kiwibank, they also see a brand that is likely to have their best interests at heart.

That’s a special something that corporates often struggle to project – a sense of genuine care and having their stakeholder’s best interests in mind. The combination of a kiwi bank, a well-known kiwi man and a cause that was so genuine it was impossible to second guess, was an undeniable winner.

A relevant topic or cause:

Mental health in New Zealand is an issue that has been ongoing within our society, with the 2016/17 New Zealand Health Survey finding that one in six New Zealand adults are being diagnosed with a common mental health disorder at some time in their lives.

With New Zealand’s well known two degrees of separation, this means that almost everyone knows someone who has experienced some form of mental illness.

In today’s social and political climate, and as a direct result of campaigns such as I AM HOPE, mental illness is also becoming far more widely spoken about and accepted as an issue that needs to be addressed – and, more importantly, is okay to be addressed.

The cause was relevant, and close to the hearts of Kiwis all over the country.

Passive engagement resulting in real-life results:

From a marketer's perspective, the campaign itself was flawlessly executed. Beginning with a single post from a well-known NZ brand, a short message containing a co-sign from Mike King, supported by a #gumbootupnz hashtag, and finished with an easy call-to-action, this CSR was made to be a social media giant.

As adding a frame to a profile picture on Facebook automatically resulted in a share and a post on the pages of individuals, the organic reach was widespread and began to quickly snowball.

As for what drove the final nudge in the direction of users clicking the call to action? A single, passive click resulted in real-life money donated to a charity. It was good deed for kiwis without having to reach into their pockets, and finally offered a socially positive bandwagon to jump on.

Is Kiwibank seeing results?

Absolutely. Since their public launch of the I AM HOPE Facebook frames Kiwibank there’s been a 10% increase in brand positivity for Kiwibank since last week with a net sentiment of 68% positivity; over double that of Westpac.

There is no doubt that these numbers will continue to grow as will the long-term effects on brand salience and brand positivity. Overall, they have invested a sizable amount of money through their donation, however, through our ROI modelling we estimate the uplift to be well into a six-figure sum.

From looking at the Kiwibank I AM HOPE social media phenomenon, it is clear to see that CSR can absolutely be marketed (and we have more examples of other successful campaigns to prove it) driving engagement, results and return. All it takes is a great idea, a good cause, and a well-structured marketing campaign that reaches the hearts of its target audience. Oh, and of course, a way to measure your impact.

Kudos to you, Kiwibank.

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© Zavy 2021
© Zavy 2021