World’s Greatest Shave (WGS) is the Leukaemia Foundation’s (LF) flagship peer to peer fundraiser, raising over $16 million annually to support people living with blood cancer. 2018 marked WGS’s 20th anniversary and, along with a new, restructured national organisation, provided an opportunity for staff to leverage LF’s history and embrace its future.
Like many charity events, WGS faces significant challenges in a competitive market. However, with WGS’s 20th anniversary looming, LF successfully focused on nostalgia, two decades of community support and good news about blood cancer survival rates. The team devised a humorous campaign based on the Ron Burgundy character from the film, Anchorman, which fed into 1990s nostalgia. They also reached out to the first shavers of 1998, including haematologist Dr James Morton, and engaged past supporters/shavers through a retention video.
LF’s team also adopted marketing automation to improve the donor journey and established a centralised call centre which enabled deeper supporter relationships and increased participation rates and average gifts. A national/metro media relations program alerted people to the WGS across Australia.
The campaign exceeded expectations across most metrics and furnished the team with valuable learnings to apply in future. Happily, WGS still resonates in the market, generating excellent media coverage and participant engagement.