Digital Billboard Raises Funds for African Women

Microloan wins prime Westfield spot for innovative campaign



The Microloan Foundation

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Innovative Chiswick based charity The MicroLoan Foundation has won the chance to stage a fundraising campaign on an iconic digital billboard at the Westfield Shopping centre in Shepherd's Bush.

The charity, which grants small business loans and offers training to women in sub-Saharan Africa so that they can support their families, came third in Ocean Outdoor’s The Art of Outdoor digital competition which celebrates ideas led campaigns.

MicroLoan’s advertising agency DLKW Lowe created an interactive campaign using the digital billboard to encourage shoppers to become a named “artist” by completing giant portraits of African women in return for a £1 donation.

More than 30 competition entries were judged for their visually stimulating, interactive approaches, using new technologies such as full motion, layering, subtle, time sensitive, augmented reality and data streaming.

MicroLoan Foundation wins a £50,000 share in a £300,000 advertising campaign pot for their campaign on Ocean Outdoor’s digital network in 2012.

Rupy Laur from MicroLoan said: “What does this mean for the MicroLoan Foundation? £50,000 worth of free advertising which we would not have been able to fund ourselves. This means reaching out to new people and raising awareness/donations whilst elevating creativity in our sector. Ultimately this means we help some of the poorest women in Africa.”

Tim Bleakley, CEO of Ocean Outdoor said:“MicroLoan’s submission showcases the immediacy and versatility of digital outdoor installations as powerful advertising canvases with big audiences. It is a compelling snapshot of what’s possible and the potential for charities who are prepared to think well beyond the static image.”

An extension of the charity’s accessible Pennies For Life campaign, the MicroLoan campaign invites shoppers to complete the picture by texting the word “change” and their name for the cost of a £1 donation. The donor’s name then appears on the giant poster with a thank you message. The donation triggers a hand full of pennies which appear on the screen and topple into the uncompleted image.

The more people text, the faster the picture builds. Each completed portrait is sent to a virtual gallery on the charity’s website. Text messages tell donors where they can find their picture, complete with their credit as a named “artist”.

The judges praised the competition entry as “the strongest in terms of the video and creative submission”, and said that the concept “would make you want to do it to make the largest possible difference to women and their families in Africa.”

The overall winner of The Art of Outdoor competition was the breakfast cereal producer Jordans which used augmented reality to help repatriate virtual animals into hedgerows. Second place was awarded to British Airways for an interactive campaign to train with a real life British Olympian.

October 18, 2011