One of the many CSR campaigns that Tesco Lotus does is “Take Kids to School” in which it invites shoppers nationwide to buy and donate shoes for the children in need. The campaign started in 2013 and about 20,000 pairs of shoes have been donated every year. However, there are more than four million children across the nation living in remote rural areas that can be in need of a good pair of shoes. A good initiation so far but still a drop in the ocean.
This year, the team decided to reassess how this small budgeted campaign can make more waves and impressions and ultimately increase the number of donations and make a difference to more children.
Mindshare dug deeper for a sharper understanding of the consumers and their attitudes and behaviours. The thing is consumers, particularly those in urban areas, do not fully embrace and know how difficult and rough a life without shoes is and therefore do not understand that their little act of shoe donation can change someone’s life.
Characterised by their heavy use of social media and indulgence in consumption of social news, celebrity gossips, and entertainment, their abundance of information is thus related more to celebrities and the glamorous lifestyles of the rich and famous. A story of kids in need of shoes will have to fight for the attention and recognition of a celebrity walking on 4-inch heels on the red carpet.
Mindshare's strategy was then to have to make the situation that is far from the daily lives of urban city dwellers be understandable in a simple and impactful way. And it knows, experience speaks louder than words, and thus the mini-demonstration and experiential moments were created. Taking on a familiar icon of the privileged and the influential were often seen on the red carpet, so it turned “the Red Carpet” to the idea of ‘the Rough Carpet’, a contrast of what it is like for the underprivileged to be walking this rough carpet every day to school, and without shoes.
“The Rough Carpet” reach out to the mass by seizing the attention and stimulating the action of the people who have ability to influence others. Besides, pulling such stunt earns free PR.
The agency created the “rough carpet” with soil and stones that resembles the environment of what it is like in the rural areas.
It then placed the “rough carpet” at important venues and events like Suvannabhumi International Airport, Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre, Downtown Luxurious Community Mall, and the Unconvenional Media, one of the biggest media seminars in Thailand with guests from more than 300 companies.
Life-sized standees of underprivileged children attached with motion sensors were placed on the rough carpet to tell their everyday stories, information about the campaign and how to make a donation.
It also created and distributed postcards with barcodes that people could grab and go to Tesco Lotus checkout to make the shoes donation.
In the end nobody walked on the rough carpet, but it raised awareness of the campaign and brought the real situation of the children to the mind of the urban city dwellers. More than 440,000 interactions that were shared on social media to reach 4.6 million others in the campaign. The campaign also earned media attention and picked up on PR with media value of 2 million Baht ($57,108).
But more importantly, shoe donations surged to 180,039 pairs, five times more than the previous year. That means 180,039 children now have a better way to protect their feet and safer journey to take them to school.