When COVID-19 beset the world, the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) knew it needed to act fast. MDA tapped True North to generate rapid response ads that would help remedy the major loss of donations due to the pandemic canceling its spring and summer fundraising events. The first key message we put into market conveyed that neuromuscular disease doesn’t stop in a crisis, but neither will MDA in fighting for the families it serves.
The novel coronavirus threatens the health of all people but especially those living with muscular dystrophy, ALS, and related diseases, who already experience weakened breathing muscles. In Phase 1 of our COVID-19 Response Campaign, the authentic footage of children, adults, and celebrities speaking directly to the camera about the critical health risks and need for support resonated deeply with viewers on social channels.
For Phase 2 of our COVID-19 Response Campaign, we shifted from the negative impact on health and safety to the economic impact and the risks associated with potential lost funding due to the COVID-19 crisis. MDA patients require access to Care Centers, and if funding isn’t available to keep them operational, the impact on care could be life changing. Neuromuscular disease already takes away mobility for children and adults, and now the pandemic threatens to take away critical services, clinical trials, and care that are all vital to their day-to-day survival and hopeful future. “Take Away” was the central theme of Phase 2, communicating to donors that they are the key to ensuring the pandemic doesn’t take away MDA’s ability to serve families for years to come.
Supporters were compelled to give during Phase 2, after seeing how the economic impact could afflict patients. For nonprofits, keeping ad spend down and putting the majority of funds towards its programs and services is key so that donors know their contributions are impacting the cause at hand. Even when MDA had to cut ad spend this year, our COVID-19 Response ads were able to make more. Overall, True North helped replenish donations lost from canceled fundraising events to keep MDA’s critical research and care going strong.
donation volume lift
year-over-year revenue lift despite decreased investment
click-through rate improvement
paid social donation increase (8x that of 2019)