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During a recent fundraising campaign, Polish cancer foundation Rak’n’Roll wanted to raise awareness of the sense of loss that comes from losing a breast due to breast cancer. The charity provides care and support for women recovering from mastectomies.

In a similar vein to HBO’s Half of HBO for Free campaign, which showed behind-the-paywall content on only half of the viewer’s television screen, Rak’n’Roll Records created free music provided only in mono and encouraged listeners to recover the stereo versions from Rak’n’Roll’s online store.

Created by 180heartbeats + JvM, Warsaw, the listening experience reflected a ‘musical mastectomy’, with a €1 upgrade cost contributing to helping recovering women to ‘get their life back in stereo’ too.

 

Tracks and music videos were donated by artists, varying from remixed tracks by everyday citizens to original content by Polish chart-toppers. The songs were played on all major radio stations, as well as on TV and online.

Within three months Rak’n’Roll Records became the biggest independent record label in Poland and launched a nationwide tour with their artists. The campaign reached over 30% of Poles and generated free publicity on various media channels worth €200,000. Over 100 bands donated tracks to the label, with more signing on each week. Rak’n’Roll recently released its first physical EP, for a punk rock band’s debut. At Cannes Lions 2013 the campaign won Silver and Bronze Branded Content and Entertainment Lions.

 

Contagious Insight

Rak’n’Roll Records is a commendable effort by a charity on a number of fronts. First and foremost, bypassing reliance on goodwill donations and creating a viable enterprise in a tough, competitive industry sends the bold message that the charity represents strong women who do not consider themselves victims.

Secondly, by creating a platform where aspiring artists can showcase their work, the foundation has tapped into an incredible content resource. Up-and-coming musicians will always be eager to demonstrate their talent, particularly on a platform that is affiliated with famous artists and has the extra element of goodwill. The plentiful donations allow Rak’n’Roll to choose the best contributions to play on TV and radio on merit, and allows it to compete against other record labels.

The third element of the campaign, playing songs in mono and asking people to pay for a richer stereo version, is particularly well-considered idea and elevates the impact of the campaign. It aptly mirrors the experience of women who feel incomplete with only one breast, and shows how donations can contribute to them leading a richer life with support from the charity. Furthermore, designing a feature that isn’t tied to Rak’n’Roll’s own music platform allows other professional artists to show their support by releasing their tracks in mono first, while maintaining their commercial interests.

 

This is the latest in a series of midemblog posts from Contagious Feed, a database of the most creative and effective marketing campaigns around. Contagious – a midem content partner – guides and advises brands and their agencies on competitor activity and future opportunities. More information here; and be sure to sign up for the Contagious newsletter here!


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