Children with Cancer UK

Multi-channel marketing to increase donations

In 2018 WPNC delivered a brand new creative strategy for Children with Cancer UK.

Searching for a new approach

How hope has a key part to play

When WPNC first began working with CWC UK in 2014, the charity was still taking an approach that highlighted the suffering of youngsters with the disease and the need for funds to combat cancer. The DRTV, which focused on the heart-breaking days and weeks during treatment when neither the child nor their family are sure they will survive, was successful in engaging donors.

However, come summer 2018, the organisation was searching for a new creative strategy based on a message of hope not just for the child, but also their families. WPNC thoroughly researched the illness and how it affects people’s lives, and also scrutinised CWC UK’s existing assets to uncover the solution.

I’m particularly excited to be working with the WPNC team again. The agency has proved its creative skills by capturing the essence of our new brand thinking with some powerful ideas. Whilst financial objectives drive us, we are striving to improve awareness and create a bigger presence in people’s lives.

Jag Jandu, Senior Manager Individual Giving, Children With Cancer UK

Every time a bell rings

Insight brings CWC UK a new creative treatment

When the agency discovered the answer, it rang loud and clear. Every child who completes their treatment gets the chance to ring a bell on the hospital ward before going home. It’s an emotional ceremony that signifies the end of their struggle and heralds a brighter future. This was the organising thought that the charity’s new integrated campaign to engage and connect with prospective donors was built around. Besides the main 60-second DRTV execution, WPNC has also created and tested a series of shorter Facebook ads using the footage. There are also OOH, train and tube posters to give the work a truly integrated feel. Plus, to enhance results, we overhauled their donation journey and placed them on our proprietary goDonate platform.

Showcasing true stories

The importance of authenticity in advertising

With such a human story at the heart of the new campaign, it was vital to create an ad that felt as authentic as possible. WPNC filmed on wards at several child cancer specialist hospitals across the country, and 12 of the youngsters who appear in the ads are real patients; two actors were filmed for very sensitive scenes.

We relied on a huge amount of goodwill from the children, their families and the hospital staff. It was very challenging, but we got a lot of footage of the bell being rung. Our aim was to create an unquestionably authentic ad, and the real activity helped us to achieve that.

Maria Phillips, Director of TV & Film, WPNC

The fight goes on

Developing the message to strike an emotional balance

The creative idea coincided perfectly with the charity’s desire to make more of the bell motif across the organisation, signifying that the fight against cancer can be won with a powerful combination of funding, research and treatment. The whole charity would soon be imbued with the positive connotations of ringing the bell. It was also important to remember that not every child gets to ring the bell, and that the wider battle with the disease is ongoing. That, too, is reflected in the campaign.


The initial campaigns performed 30% ahead of target; that level of performance has continued. The campaign has outstripped all target metrics, for response, one-off donations and regular giving. At a time when charities have been under pressure, the outcomes are encouraging for all concerned.

A major highlight of this campaign came when we re-edited the TV commercial at Christmas. From a single TV spot we saw an astonishing 13,632 responses against a forecast of 3,000. Overall, the Christmas campaign is already 34% up on target.

John Eversley, Managing Director – Agency, WPNC

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