Charité in Berlin is one of Europe’s largest university hospitals. Patients suffering from ovarian cancer spend up to six to seven hours, several times a week, in dreary and uncomfortable chemotherapy rooms at the women’s clinic. The founders of Charité’s ‘Rosi’ project asked APCO, their communications partner, to launch a fundraising campaign to raise €40,000 to improve the hospital environment for women fighting cancer. Rosi is the name of one of the founder’s mother who sadly passed away from cancer.
APCO developed and launched a crowdfunding campaign with the goal of generating an emotional response across a large number of individual donors. This was an online-led campaign, so a strong digital and social media implementation plan was essential.
We developed a very specific call to action: “We are looking for 40,000 real men”. This references the “real men” who would sit in the waiting room every day to support their wives and family members. We worked with 27 influencers, including some of Germany’s top celebrities such as musician Herbert Grönemeyer, to record a crowdfunding video highlighting that “a real man” is not defined by stereotypes, but by his support for the project. A “real men” Rosi tattoo sticker, was designed to drive donors to spread the message online with their own photos showing support for the campaign.
APCO also served as the press office to promote the campaign across traditional media outlets.
The campaign successfully raised about €70,000 – nearly double our target. We also secured widespread coverage from German public broadcasting station ARD, public transport TV in Berlin, the best-selling European newspaper BILD and the screening of the campaign video prior to a football match at the stadium of Hertha Berlin, generating a total reach of 20.7 million. The campaign also received widespread support on social media from numerous celebrities and, overall, sparked a conversation about the importance of the hospital environment for patients fighting cancer.