Christmas 2016. The Celtic Phoenix was rising, spending power in Ireland had gone up, and people were going back to their old ways of buy, buy, buy. Meanwhile, child poverty and other social issues affecting the most vulnerable had never been in worse shape. It was time to remind people of the true meaning of Christmas.
So Three and Boys & Girls decided to create a campaign that was all about giving at Christmas. In the main campaign story, a little girl learns that giving up what she loves most can be the perfect surprise. But we needed to do more than just say giving was good, we needed to demonstrate our belief in that message. And so, we partnered with the charity that supports those most deserving of the perfect surprise at Christmas: children’s charity Barnardos.
The story of The Girl and The Cloud with its message of giving was brought to life in a beautifully illustrated children’s book to be sold around the country, all proceeds of which would go to Barnardos and their work in helping vulnerable children at Christmas. A supporting interactive e-book allowed people to enjoy the story online, encouraging them to donate to Barnardos while on the site.
The book received great publicity, not least because of its positive message and its purpose in supporting a worthy cause. Suddenly, people were talking about the importance of teaching children to give and think of others. In a short space of time, it sold over 5,000 copies in Easons and Three stores around the country, raising over €30,000 for Barnardos. Meanwhile, RTE donated the media value of the film’s Christmas airing, worth another €30,000.