Oxfam: The Hunger £ Million Campaign
- Exhibited by
- Aline Reed/Mark Phillips, Bluefrog.
- June 19, 2012
- Medium of Communication
- Press advertising
- Target Audience
- Type of Charity
- International relief / development.
- Country of Origin
- Date of first appearance
- October, 1963
These simple, concise ads may seem a little outdated now, but they get the need across quickly and the call to action is clear. The drama builds up over the weeks until we get to one or two that might be controversial today – can you guess which one made a SOFII volunteer jump? Finally, campaign achieved with a million pounds in the bank, the adverts to say thank you really do congratulate the donors and make them feel as if they have done something special: which they had.
Creator / originator
Summary / objectives
In 2005, following on from Make Poverty History, Oxfam launched its ‘most ambitious campaign for support ever’ – aiming to recruit a million new supporters in a hundred days. This campaign was called ‘I’m in’ and members of the public were asked to pledge their support – and hold the leaders of G8 countries to the promises they’d made to fight poverty. See advert here. In fact, it took a little longer than a hundred days to gather the million pledges, but I think it was achieved within the year.
Forty-two years earlier, Oxfam marked its twenty-first anniversary with another groundbreaking campaign, which aimed to raise a million pounds in the three months before Christmas.
Mark Phillips has found a series of nine press adverts that show the development of the Hunger £ Million Campaign. The first advert is an introduction to the campaign (October 1963). The last is a thank you (you guessed it – thanks a million) placed on 15 January 1964 announcing that the fundraising target had been met.
This campaign demonstrates Oxfam’s ambitious fundraising. Each advert is different as the story of the campaign unfolds. Take advert two, for example. ‘Wanted £1,000,000 – we ask the whole country to back the biggest drive against hunger we have ever launched’ – pretty bold.
As time goes by, the fundraising target drops (£959,304 by advert three), but the eye-catching adverts continue. Number seven is a hardworking Christmas advert – contrasting our time of plenty with hunger around the world. And it all ends with a thank you.
Influence / impact
This campaign looks like it inspired the later Million Names in a Hundred Days Campaign in 2005.
The million pounds was raised.
On its own, one of these adverts would have been of passing interest, but as a whole collection they make for an ambitious and presumably innovative campaign.
Other relevant information
Is this the complete set of adverts? Does anyone know?
You can see other related exhibits here: Oxfam’s press ads from the 1950s and 60s.