Amnesty Inter­na­tion­al: throw-away insert campaign

Exhibited by
Alistair Baggs.
October 26, 2009
Medium of Communication
Inserts, press advertising
Target Audience
Individuals, regular gift
Type of Charity
Human rights & civil liberties
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance

SOFII’s view

Amnesty International is rarely other than enterprising, inspirational and effective in its fundraising and this committed giving insert doesn’t fail to live up to expectations on any count. Indeed at the UK’s Direct Marketing Association (DMA) awards it caught the judges’ attention particularly because it made people think, quite an unusual accolade for a direct marketing promotion.

Creator / originator

Creative agency – Different Kettle; AIUK – Alistair Baggs and Sonya Burke.

Summary / objectives

Amnesty International is the world’s leading human rights organisation. The aim of the insert was to acquire regular giving supporters onto the database at an average annual value of £53. The target response rate was 0.044 per cent. The insert was split tested against another test creative in The Guardian and The Observer newspapers. The outer reveal of the pack challenges people to ‘throw away’ the insert – partly a play on the fact that most people like to shake out inserts from their papers and magazines. The first reveal lists the ‘bad guys’, such as rapists and dictators, and challenges the reader to stop reading. The inside copy then gives brief examples of the ‘bad guys’ work’ and asks you to defy them and join Amnesty International.


Inserts account for 13 per cent of all new supporters Amnesty International UK recruit each year. In late 2006 Amnesty International UK were faced with the prospect of having no control creative for our next insert campaign. Our previous control had become redundant because of the government’s decision to sign a convention we had campaigned for. We had also found that this control was recruiting a high number of cash responses, which had affected our return on investment.

Special characteristics

Researched proved that most inserts go straight in the bin. We used people’s contrary instincts about the medium to our benefit by creating an insert with a warning not to open it.

We know that we get the best lifetime value from regular giving supporters and this insert would have a direct debit only ask. The previous control had both regular and one off cash asks.

Influence / impact

The pack delivered a much higher response than anticipated achieving 0.101 per cent against a target of 0.044 per cent. The proportion of direct debit response was much higher as well, with 98 per cent of people deciding to support us in this way compared to the 69 per cent we attained in the previous campaign. This meant our return on investment was also much higher than the 0.60 per cent achieved in the last campaign.

The insert was winner of the DMA gold award.


The ‘throw away’ creative had beaten all its targets and the creative it was tested against at the time.


Media & print – £25,821.

Creative fees not factored in because the creative work was used over a number of campaigns.


  • 12-month income £43,154
  • 0.102 per cent response rate
  • £53.15 average gift
  • 1.67 ROI
  • cost per supporter £31.80