Record Results for GOSH’s Flagship Stocking Appeal

Each year, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity(GOSHCC) launches its iconic Stocking Appeal campaign, based on the true story of four-year-old Henry, who had life-saving surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital. The ads that run alongside this multifaceted campaign help to raise crucial public funds for resources and support, to help get seriously ill children like Henry one step closer to home.

The brief

The primary objective for the campaign was to drive as many donations as possible with maximum revenue, aiming for a cost per donation of £49. Due to the time constraints of the festive season, our team had a relatively short window of opportunity to generate donations. And, with the cost of living crisis and financial pressures on people across the UK, many charities were expecting results to be lower than in previous years.

Despite an existing range of endearing creatives that are familiar to the audience, the world had changed significantly since the last time this campaign ran. But, with a clear focus and strategy, we were determined to make it a success, alongside GOSH’s expert in-house team.

The strategy

Our digital strategy needed to fit in with the broader digital strategy that GOSH had designed for this campaign, which had been created to ensure a clear marketing funnel - investing in the upper and middle funnel, in order to increase brand uplift, recall and engagement. By focusing efforts on building out a large retargeting audience we were able to ensure that we drove high quality volume to the donate pages later in the campaign.

With a remit of delivering top of funnel and conversions for this campaign - and a fantastic story to be told around the campaign’s hero character, Henry, we began reviewing exactly how and where we could showcase Henry’s story for maximum impact. And how we could best use our budget across the user journey to tell a story, and transform awareness into action.

Using the charming selection of video, imagery, and text-based creatives, we identified our key awareness opportunities across Display, Spotify and Performance Max (see more about this fantastic new tool from Google here). This worked in conjunction with activity the GOSH team ran in-house, and generated a reach of 5,389,993 and over 200,000 video views across paid social, PPC and display. This approach was a new approach, with more focus on the top of funnel than ever before at Christmas and it achieved a CPM of just £2 compared to a previous monthly average of £4.

On Search, which was designed to capture new audiences, but primarily drive donations, we noticed that spend in previous years was spread out across a range of non-branded terms. Our new non-branded Search strategy would focus on two core keyword areas (Christmas Gifts and Christmas Appeal), allowing us to be more competitive in these key areas and win a majority of the Search Impression Share available.

This also allowed us to allocate more budget towards branded keywords, which we already knew from previous years would bolster the revenue generated from non-branded terms. We increased the budget on branded terms further later during the campaign, based on interest and search volume, suggesting that the upper funnel awareness activity drove interest and consideration, which we were ready to capture.

The joy of utilising these different platforms was being able to review the results at various stages of the campaign and make decisions of where to move budget for maximum impact. We have such a great relationship with GOSHCC and their trust in our work meant we had the freedom to optimise the different platforms with a quick turnaround. We absolutely love working with their team.

Louise Horner, Digital Marketing Consultant, Torchbox

The results

Over the 6 week period, the campaign greatly exceeded objectives, achieving the following results:

  • A total of £221,989.32 in revenue raised across Search, Performance Max, Display, Spotify and Adroll
  • A cost per donation of £9.55 compared to £33.70 for 2021
  • ROI of £3.32 compared to £1.66 in 2021

This year’s Stocking Appeal [one of GOSHCC’s flagship appeals] has raised over £1.1m for the first time. It was the highest cash appeal amount raised by GOSHCC in 10 years and 50% was contributed by digital (90% of that from Torchbox). Your team were a really big part of that, so thank you.

Kat Cimetta, Senior Digital Marketing Manager at GOSHCC

Looking for support with your 2023 Christmas campaign?

We can support you and your teams to plan, build and implement digital marketing strategies that will deliver results this Christmas. Get in touch via [email protected]