#GOBALLSOUT from Testicular Cancer New Zealand

Exhibited by
Tom Hodgson, retention manager, Sightsavers.
Added
August 15, 2019
Medium of Communication
Online, apps.
Target Audience
Public
Type of Charity
Health
Country of Origin
New Zealand
Date of first appearance
April 2017

SOFII’s view

This is the kind of campaign we love here at SOFII because it just jumps straight out at you. It’s funny, outrageous but totally on point, addressing the core issue of the charity’s mission in a way that instantly engages prospective donors. And it was successful, using new technologies and interactive platforms to reach as wide an audience as possible. It was so good in fact that other organisation’s were even inspired to ape it. What more could you ask for?

Creator / originator

FCB New Zealand (agency) and Testicular Cancer New Zealand.

Summary / objectives

Testicular Cancer New Zealand wanted to make a life changing difference to the lives of men, focusing on education to check for symptoms of cancer, by creating a highly shareable campaign – #GoBallsOut.

Quite simply, Testicular Cancer NZ were encouraging people to go for a run and whilst out running, create giant penis shapes using GPS tracking software! 

Background

The aim of the campaign was to increase awareness of the most common form of cancer in a fun and engaging way and to fundraise while they were at it.

And a shocking fact driving the whole campaign is that testicular cancer is the number one cancer for males aged 15 to 39 years old.

The objective of the campaign was clear: use a social, shareable and competitive campaign to raise awareness and funds. The cock and balls was the obvious answer! 

Special characteristics

The majority of the campaign lived online, giving people the chance to dare a mate to join in. And sure enough, this overnight success meant that people shared their cock and balls far and wide using the hashtag #GoBallsOut, with Testicular Cancer NZ driving social shares and engagement themselves.

I love this campaign because they pushed people towards easily accessible – and crucially free - running apps like Strava and Runtastic that are already available on the app store and Google play. Barriers to entry were low, meaning users could focus on the best bits: drawing cocks and balls. And all the fundraising was done via the Everyday Hero online platform.

The Balls Out team gave participants the tools to engage one another in real life, which got the brand, and the hashtag, out onto the streets. They offered tips and tricks on how to engage with your mates and where to find the best places to go for a run on Google Maps. (Again, the ubiquitous Google Maps available for free and which can be easily accessed, so users didn’t need a custom app or anything you didn’t already have in your pocket).

The campaign was easily accessible online and was broken down into four easy steps: download an app like Strava or Runtastic, choose your location to make your masterpiece, share the screenshot of it on social channels with the hashtag #GoBallsOut and make a donation by texting two ball emojis! 

Merits

The campaign became a raging success, and was fully endorsed by the whole organisation from the CEO down. FCB NZ were the partner creative agency, who took great joy in presenting the idea of the campaign in a pitch meeting - a doodle of a doodle!

The tone of the appeal was light, using all kinds of innuendo to make a splash!

Soon, media mastheads across the world picked the story up and discussed the campaign. And why wouldn’t they? It was ridiculous, provocative and, therefore, effective.

They even got coverage on the coveted LadBible Facebook page, where posts that don’t perform are deleted almost immediately.

A personal highlight of the campaign was when a pilot even took to the skies to draw cocks and balls in their flightpath over the city of Auckland, showing the world that there is no end to how childish and immature men can be.

I also love the fact the campaign got other charities talking and creating a buzz not only about #GoBallsOut but also their own work too, as evidenced by CoppaFeel not wanting to miss out on the action! They got right in there asking who wants to etch a big pair of boobs into the Amsterdam skyline!

In terms of the fundraising, primary response was by PSMS and you could simply send a pair of ball emojis to give a gift. It was that simple!

Results

The success speaks for itself - within 24 hours, the campaign was trending on the BBC, Mashable and well known UK red top newspapers, plus further headlines included the following:

  • They secured coverage on national websites including the BBC and newspapers like The Mirror and The Sun
  • They secured coverage on the Ladbible Facebook page, gaining over 24m likes
  • A total warned value coverage of NZ$7,811,128
  • 194 countries reached
  • 6051 cities reached
  • 4,390,842 video views at a cost per view of just $0.001

Most importantly, 86 per cent of men aged 15-39 in NZ were reached across the campaign period, with a 71 per cent increase in awareness that exercise helps prevent testicular cancer.

Final notes

Why do I wish I’d thought of #GOBALLSOUT? Because it was social, bringing communities of men together across New Zealand and the world. It was shareable on apps these guys already had in their pocket. It was absolutely ridiculous, and so shocking that people couldn’t resist talking about it. It was a roaring success, reaching millions and engaging hundreds to share their cocks and balls.

Most importantly, it was gutsy. I love it because it’s the type of campaign that can lead the change in men’s health – turning a taboo subject into something men share, engage and want to talk about. No wonder it was such a massive success. 

Other relevant information

Tom Hodgson presented this case study at SOFII's I Wish I'd Thought Of That (IWITOT) London 2019 and at IWITOT in Fundraising Convention 2019 run by the UK's Institute of Fundraising (IoF).