Brands Donate Ad Space in Recognition of Marie Curie Nurses Working the Extra Hour

Understanding of Marie Curie’s purpose is low with less than 40% of people understanding that they offer end of life care. We wanted to raise awareness of the hard work and dedication that the Marie Curie Nurses show to those with terminal illness.

The Challenge

The clocks changing in October is a curious moment, we are all given something money can’t buy: an extra hour, which for most people equates to more time in bed. But not for Marie Curie nurses.

Marie Curie Nurses are working through the night every night to make sure people don’t die alone, afraid or in pain. The night the clocks change, while the rest of us get an extra hour in bed, Marie Curie nurses will be awake caring for their patient and providing care to both the patient and their families.

This moment in time provided a unique opportunity for Marie Curie to draw attention to this extra hour of commitment from their nurses and raise awareness of the charity’s work. The challenge for media was to find a way of behaving that would begin to communicate some of the fantastic work that Marie Curie do within the framework of the extra hour the nurses are working…. at a low cost!

Our Solution

Rapport teamed up with UM London and Saatchi & Saatchi to rally high profile brands and media owners to be a part of a special moment by donating an hour of their advertising space, between 7-8pm on Saturday 29th October 2016 (the day the clocks changed), to raise awareness around Marie Curie nurses working through the night. The activity would bolster awareness of the brand message and key moment without Marie Curie paying any media costs!

To raise money, the copy would ask potential supporters to donate £5 via text; however, fundraising wasn’t the main KPI for this campaign. As well as securing free advertising space across 31 posters and 400 Taxi Tops, we also took over the iconic Piccadilly Lights with the Piccadilly One screen dedicated to the campaign and all other screens, with brands such as Coca-Cola and Samsung, turned yellow for the hour.


945 text donations.

60% uplift on social media mentions of #MarieCurie.

Google searches increased by 80% that week and 33% increase in all traffic to the website based on the same period the month before and a 45% increase based on the same period the previous year.

52,000 OOH impacts and over 670,000 earned media impressions were delivered for the hour.

The news was picked up by the Evening Standard Online who tweeted an image of the takeover, as well as by charity and nursing trade media e.g. UK Fundraising, Charity Today, Nursing Times and Nursing Standard.

Although fundraising wasn’t the KPI for this campaign, the total amount raised equated to 236 hours of nursing care.

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