Cancer is a well-known horrible disease. I think everybody knows somebody who has or had this terrible disease. A lot of people die every year because of cancer. So what should be more beautiful than a solution for this disease?
The Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital made a breakthrough that might heal people from cancer. To cure patients, all of them need a personalized treatment. This means that every patient gets his or her own DNA analysis. In this way, the hospital can find the place of the DNA deviation in the body. This information will tell the hospital how to treat the cancer of each patient.
To develop more personal therapies and treatments, money is necessary for research. If successful, cancer won’t be a deadly disease anymore. To make it possible to do more research and launch the breakthrough, the hospital made a campaign. In this campaign they ask people to donate money, so the hospital will be able to give all their patients the personalized treatment they need. The Antoni van Leeuwenhoek needs 5 million euros for their DNA analyses. These analyses make it possible to start with the treatments in 2014. The ambition of the hospital is to make a chronic disease of 90% of all different types of cancer. Without the donated money the hospital is not able to further develop their breakthrough and heal cancer patients. If you calculate back the 5 million euros, this means every person in the Netherlands needs to donate approximately 0,30 euro cents. Not that much don’t you think? But so far less than 200.000 euros is donated to the hospital..
When you launch a campaign, you have to decide who your target group is. The target group of this campaign is very big. The Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital calls all Dutch people to contribute, so we can ensure all together cancer won’t be a deadly disease anymore in the future. So everybody in the Netherlands is in the target group of the campaign.
To make an effective campaign, every campaign should have his own communication objectives. Objectives are intended goals of an advertising or promotional program. There are five different communication objectives. These effects are: Category Need, Brand Awareness, Brand Preference, Brand Action Intention and Purchase Facilitation (Rossiter & Bellman). The Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital wants to accomplish actually just one big effect; people donating money to the hospital. How can the campaign reach this goal, by looking at the objectives in terms of knowledge, attitudes and behavior?
- Make people aware of the existence of the hospital and their research (brand awareness)
- Tell people about the breakthrough (brand awareness)
- Inform people about how they can help (purchase facilitation)
- Create a positive attitude towards the hospital and the campaign (brand preference)
- Convince people to choose this campaign instead of other charities to donate money to (brand preference)
- Convince people to donate money by sending a text message (brand action intention)
- Convince people to visit the website (brand action intention)
- Convince people to donate more money on the website or sponsor/organize an action (brand action intention)
High- vs. Low-Involvement, Informational vs. Transformational and the Rossiter-Percy grid are concepts a lot of people, interested in communications and marketing, might have heard of. But what is this grid exactly and how can it be used for the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek campaign? Rossiter and Percy distinguish 4 main strategies to create a brand attitude. These strategies depend on the involvement and the motivation of people. Depending on the place in this grid, a strategy can be made to advertise for a product.
But where is the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek campaign in this grid. I think the campaign can be in different places in the grid, depending on the kind of action you take to donate money.
There are three options to donate money:
1.) By sending a text message you can donate 1 euro
2.) On their website you can donate a self-decided amount of money
3.) Sponsor/organise an action yourself
These three options differ in involvement and motivation of people.
1.) Sending a text message: Low-Involvement and Transformational. It is low-involvement because the risk is very small. A text message only cost 1 euro, so the economic risk is small. Besides, sending a text message is a personal, private action. So the social risk will be very small as well. Sending a text message is transformational, because it’s about emotions and a positive stimulation. The action a person will take, donate the money, will have a positive ending for that person. Donating money will give that person a positive feeling about himself.
2.) Donate money on their website: Low-Involvement and Transformational. It is low-involvement, because the risk is small. You are the one who decides the amount of money. So the economic risk is small. The social risk is small as well, because other people cannot see that you donate money and your donated amount of money. It is transformational, because donating the money gives the person a positive feeling in the end.
3.) Sponsor/organise an action: High-Involvement and Transformational. It’s High-Involvement, because you need to come up with your own action or sponsor an action. Sponsoring an action will bring economic risk and organise an action will bring economic and social risk. People might not like your action and sponsoring and organising an action is expensive, so there is an economic risk as well. It is transformational, because sponsor or organise an action will have a positive ending. The person who sponsored/organised the action will have a good feeling, because in this way he or she is helping people with cancer and makes it able to do further research.
What does this mean for the communication of this campaign and what strategy should be used? When you want to convince people of sponsoring/organising an action, you should provide a lot of information about this subject. You should provide a lot more information about it then about donating a small amount of money. An action/event will require additional promotional material to support the ‘product’. It needs a website or other media to help convince people to sponsor/organise an action. Less information is necessary when you want to persuade people of donating a small amount of money.
Elaboration likelihood model
To look how attitudes are formed and changed, we can use the Elaboration Likelihood Model. This model contains two different routes; the central and the peripheral route. Depending on the motivation and (intellectual) capability of a person, these routes can be used to persuade a target group. The key variable in this process is involvement. When people are motivated and able to think about the content of the message, elaboration is high. The central route is likely to occur. Persuasion may also occur with low elaboration, but the peripheral route needs to be used then. Here the receiver is not guided by his or her assessment of the message, as in the case of the central route, but the receiver decides to follow a principle or a decision-rule which is derived from the persuasion situation.
Because people don’t know a lot about solving cancer and the research that is needed, it would be hard for them to understand a message with difficult content about solving the disease. Therefore, you have to take the peripheral route of the ELM model. You have to persuade your target group with an attractive and easy message. The Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital didn’t use many arguments to persuade people in their commercial. The listener has to decide whether to agree with the message based on other cues than arguments. The Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital is doing this by showing a very short 20 seconds commercial, with different kinds of people (including famous people). In this way they try to make the message easy and attractive.
The 6 principles of persuasion according to Cialdini
Another way to check the persuasiveness of your campaign is by the six basic principles of Cialdini. These are the following principles: Reciprocity, Scarcity, Authority, Consistency, Liking and Consensus. These principles increase the possibility that someone will be persuaded by your request.
But are these principles actually present in the “Ik ben tegen gelijke behandeling” campaign? In my opinion, the answer is no. I think only two of these principles are used, namely scarcity and liking. The campaign is scarce, because the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital is one of the first hospital’s with a breakthrough in the research of cancer. They promise people 90% of the different kinds of cancer will be a chronic disease instead of a deadly disease in the future. So their ‘service’ is scarce. The campaign is liking, because they use people who are similar to us. They use a black guy, an old lady and a gothic girl. People we can compare ourselves with.
I think the other four elements are not used. People do not receive something in advance from the hospital, so they do not feel the obligation to give (Reciprocity). There is no professional doctor telling you something about the research and breakthrough, so authority lacks. People do not have to make a commitment in advance, they do not have to make their choice spoken out loud or written down, so they do not have the feeling they need to appear consistent to others (consistency). In the commercial they do not show you the actions of similar others (consensus), there are no peers who persuade you to donate money in the commercial.
So in my opinion, not that much principles are used in this campaign. Actually, only two are used. So maybe it could be useful to look at this six principles before launching a new campaign. It might work..
Besides looking at involvement, motivation, capability and the six principles, something else could be very important as well: arguments. I think everybody will insist with me thay you need arguments to persuade people. Does the hospital use many or any arguments in the campaign? Well, in my opinion they use only a few arguments, or actually just one argument to persuade people to donate money. The only argument they use is telling people they need money to make cancer not a deadly disease anymore. They need the money for further research. They do not tell people what they are going to do with the money and what is in it for people who donate the money.
When you use arguments, you can use one-sided arguments and two-sided arguments. A one-sided argument only presents the pro side of the argument, while a two-sided argument presents both sides. The argument used is one-sided, because it only tells you they need the money. But they do not tell you what will happen if you don’t donate the money. One-sided arguments are better when your target group is already favourable to your message. So in this case, they could have better used a two-sided argument. What happens if you donate money and what happens if you do not donate money? They are using the shock effect already, so why not add the other side of the argument as well?
The campaign uses different kinds of media. For their campaign the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital uses television, radio, internet, short movies on the internet and their social media to refer to the campaign. Therefore, you can say the “Ik ben tegen gelijke behandeling” campaign is an integrated marketing campaign, because the campaign combines new and traditional media marketing tools and tactics to connect with consumers across multiple platforms.
But is this campaign a real cross-media campaign? They are using a lot of media, but are this media related to each other? Social media is used, but not frequently and in my opinion it doesn’t have a extra value. I think the hospital made the campaign too difficult for the audience, by using so many different kinds of media. You can use a big mass media campaign when you have a well-known trustable image in your target groups mind. But the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital just came around the corner, so in my opinion they should have started with for instance collections and communicating to your target group you are doing something good and important. Then later, after making yourself trustable, you could launch a campaign like this and ask people for money.
Now they tried to make it cross-media and modern. But it didn’t work out so well. Only a few people donated money and they are not even close to the 5 million euros they wanted to collect with this campaign. They tried to combine old media (like television, radio and sending a text message) with new media (like internet, social media and actions), but I think only TV, radio and their website had a real contribution to the campaign. They made it too difficult for themselves. First they had to create brand awareness and communicate the credibility of the hospital. Generate a positive image before asking money.
Besides, they didn’t chose a clear target group for their media. Their target group is everybody in the Netherlands. This didn’t give people the feeling the message was meant for them. They should have focused more on a clear target group, to make people feel more addressed to the campaign. Then you can use the media which are frequently used by this group. In that way you don’t have to use all the media and make your campaign not that difficult as they did now.
Conclusion and recommendations
So in the end, I think this campaign was not really a success. They ask people to donate money against something instead of for something. People get a positive feeling when they donate money for something good, happy or positive, but not when they donate ‘against’ it. They say they are against equal treatment, but in my opinion they could better make their message positive, because they found a way to cure cancer. This is great news when you talk about a disease like cancer. You will lose people with this negative message. Especially because this is the first big campaign of the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital. They should have tried to create a trustable image first. This might take one or two years, but people will be more willing to donate money to you when you have created a positive image. By using the shock effect of saying you are against something, they might scare people. It is a creative way of bringing your message, but I think people do not want to be against something. People want to support something and positive. Instead of bringing a ‘negative message’, maybe their message would be stronger when they said something like: “I am for personalized treatment”.
Also, I think the target group of the campaign is not clear. To whom is the campaign addressed? You have to choose people who feel connected to the hospital. Now it is not clear who they are asking money from.
Another point I would like to mention is that the campaign was launched at the same time the Alpe D’HuZez took place. Launching your campaign at the same time as a comparable charity could be critical, because people have to decide to which charity they give their money. Alpe d’HuZes has been there already for some years, so people might think this charity is more trustable than the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital. So the moment the hospital chose to launch their campaign, wasn’t the best time to launch their campaign in my opinion.
Last, I think the campaign looks the same as the AIDS campaign with Doutzen Kroes. Both campaigns want to shock people and are using a famous Dutch person. The campaigns are not exactly the same, but I think the campaign is a little bit imitated from the AIDS campaign and the shock effect is not that new anymore, because the AIDS campaign did is as well.
So what I would like to recommend to the hospital is, accept your campaign didn’t work so well as you thought it would do. Take a break and try to create support and a positive image before launching a new campaign. Decide who your target group is going to be and keep your campaign easy, small and positive. Instead of using a famous person, use a professional who is linked to the hospital and the disease. Make your campaign trustable and credible. Chose a right moment to launch your campaign and do not imitate other campaigns. In that way, hopefully, people will be willing to donate a lot more money than they are doing at the moment. With any luck in a few years there will be a solution so cancer will not be a deadly disease anymore. Wouldn’t that be great?!
Every brand should have a high salience. High salience means that a brand is on top of the mind of the customer. Your brand always will come up first, instead of your competitors. It’s more than only awareness. A clear association has to be developed between the brand and the specific productclass/category.
Imagine you are at Footlocker to buy a new pair of sneakers. This shop displays a huge range of different shoes and different brands for you to choose from. How do you make your decision when you are there? I am sure a lot of people will go for brands they know. Here you face brand salience. Brand salience is the extent to which a brand is given importance when a consumer is facing a buying decision.
In my opinion Nike is a strong brand with a high brand salience. People do have a positive association with the brand and tendency to the brand. Every time you step into a shop and wish to go and buy sport shoes or clothes, you see yourself heading straight towards the Nike (or maybe Adidas) store before thinking of another brand. This is because of the brand association and stronger brand salience we have with Nike. I think Nike is on the top of mind of a lot of people and therefore their brand salience is really high.
What would you do if you were a billionaire? You could buy a big house, or go on a journey around the world. But you could also buy a brand. Every brand has brand value and it worth a lot of money.
What is the value of Nike? I can tell you, you have to be really rich to buy Nike. Nike has a brand value of $15.126.000.000. In 2012 Nike was on the 26th place of best global brands.
Brand mantra.. What is it? It sounds a little bit vague in my opinion. To me it sounds a little bit like the brand’s personal space or aura. So before I will tell you about the brand mantra of Nike, I will explain you what a brand mantra is.
Brand mantra: “A brand mantra is a 3 to 5 word shorthand encapsulation of your brand position. It is not an advertising slogan and it won’t be something you use publicly. A brand mantra is at its most powerful when it becomes a deeply resonant piece of the DNA of the company and is used as a touchstone to return when making difficult decisions. The brand mantra can be your guide to decide in which business you should operate, how to handle a crisis or how to make a painful choice (darkmatters.com).”
So, when we know what a brand mantra is, what is the brand mantra of Nike. Nike uses a three word brand mantra. Their mantra is:
“Authentic Athletic Performance”
“Nike’s brand mantra put a particular emphasis on maintaining authenticity, by which we also meant integrity and purity, front and center… All products and activities associated with Nike likewise had to be athletic, not leisurely… Finally, every Nike product had to exude world-class performance and meet the demands of the world’s finest athletes, even though such athletes represented a microscopic piece of Nike’s total business…”(Darkmatters.com)
Maybe your first reaction about Nike’s brand mantra was ‘Huh?! Isn’t their brand mantra Just do it?’. Well, the answer is no. A brand mantra is not a slogan. Just do it is a tagline and not a brand mantra. It’s an external manifestation of ‘Authentic Athletic Performance’. Their brand mantra is more, it’s their guide to make a lot of decisions.