How do you have awkward conversations online?

Blue State Digital has worked with WaterAid across a range of campaigns, driving the organisation to create content that challenges their audiences and pushes the boundaries of standard charity fundraising tropes. Together we’ve raised hundreds of thousands of pounds, inspired new supporters, and normalised talking sh!t.

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Universal experiences

It’s one thing to talk about sanitation affecting girls in different countries, but we wanted to bring the issue to life by showing what it means to be girl around the world. We collaboratively created the tobeagirl.org digital experience to bolster WaterAid’s largest ever integrated fundraising appeal. Using real stories, the site sparked discussion about the shared challenges girls face everywhere, as well as the differences when comparing your situation with someone else’s. Whether it was Solo collecting clean water closer to home in Madagascar, or Radha having to hide her period in Nepal, the To Be a Girl campaign highlighted a spectrum of stories from uplifting to stark.

With BSD’s support, WaterAid raised a record amount of money on the To Be A Girl campaign, both on and offline. But we’re most proud of the legacy—lasting friendships between girls of very different backgrounds, all around the world.

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Sh!t gets interesting

Next, we worked with WaterAid on one of our most unusual briefs yet: How can we use digital platforms to celebrate and drive awareness around the anniversary of the London sewers? Yup, sewers. To get in the mood, we facilitated a creative workshop at London’s museum of steam, where we were immersed in the victorian technology that changed lives for millions of Londoners. We were all fascinated by the incredible facts associated with Victorian sanitation, and started thinking about an online quiz—imagine Stephen Fry on QI meets Buzzfeed. It’s a bold client that signs off on The Unbelievable Quiz of Incredible Sh!t, but that’s exactly what WaterAid did.

Rather than simply ask people to sign up to a campaign petition, we needed to engage them first. The quiz mechanic provides a fun and informative experience that gets people talking, sharing, and most importantly, taking action. We concepted, designed, and built the microsite with the objectives to build WaterAid’s email list, drive sign-ups to their campaign, and engage their existing supporters. The Unbelievable Quiz caused quite a stir, heralded by Campaign magazine as “well executed and hilarious,” with thousands of people taking part and becoming part of the WaterAid supporter network.

Digital that drives action

We continue to work with WaterAid through multiple digital experiences across many projects. One is the Deliver Life microsite, which supports offline activation and drives social media engagement, email acquisition, and online donations. The Deliver Life campaign has raised £4,997,482 between gifts matched by the UK Government and online donations. As a result of this campaign success, WaterAid will be able to help more than 120,000 women give birth in a safer environment, with access to clean water. We’re also working on building brand love amongst younger, digitally-savvy audiences and meeting them where they are through new content-driven social profiles like the Good Sh!t Facebook channel.

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