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15 Dec 2016

‘Tis the season to be jolly…and don cheesy knitwear

Posted on December 15, 2016 by

In this blog post – part 1 of 2 – we look at why Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day campaign is so successful.

Once a garment only to be sported by ‘Mark Darcy’ types at family Christmas parties, the humble Christmas jumper has been transformed into a ‘must wear’ item over the festive period.

Save The Children's Christmas Jumper Day

Everyone loves a silly jumper at Christmas

You can’t go anywhere without seeing people in their best (ugliest) Christmas jumpers…so much so that you can now even buy them for dogs. So it’s no surprise Save the Children has turned this trend into an annual Christmas campaign, creating a day dedicated to celebrating all that is the winter jumper, in support of the charity.

Here’s why Christmas Jumper Day has proved to be so successful for the charity:

It’s easy.

The idea of Christmas Jumper Day is straightforward. The mechanic is simple: all people need to do is wear their festive jumper for the day and make a minimum donation of £2. There couldn’t be any confusion about that, surely?

It’s the right time.

It’s a fantastic way for Save the Children to boost donations at a time when people are feeling most generous.

If people are already planning to wear their jumpers to work or to Christmas parties (which most are), why not encourage them to make a donation while doing so?

It’s creative.

The campaign continues to demonstrate creativity, with Save the Children refreshing its media plan with new and innovative ways to capture people’s attention and encourage participation each year.

As the campaign has developed, the charity has had the support of organisations such as Madame Tussauds, which has this year dressed its waxworks of the Royal Family in Christmas jumpers.

Interestingly, the charity has also teamed up with the fashion label Selfish Mother to create festive knitwear with a contemporary edge. A range of well-known models have designed unisex sweatshirts which are on sale on Selfish Mother’s website, with 50 per cent of the proceeds donated to the charity. The collection is available from the Christmas Jumper Truck, which will be touring MacArthur Glen outlets around the country, offering yet another experiential element to the brand’s campaign activity.

Isla Fisher, Myleene Klass and Fearne Cotton are just some of the celebrities that have endorsed the day.

It’s in the media.

The day itself, as well as the above campaign activity, continues to gain a huge amount of coverage, with each article explaining when it is and how people can get involved. They each name check the charity and its aims, giving it some great exposure.

It’s measurable.

Arguably the most important element of any campaign is measurement and evaluation – or we like to think so!

With this in mind, the results of Christmas Jumper Day can be easily measured and evaluated, when total donations is the key metric.

However, I would argue that it’s about more than fundraising. For Save the Children to help more children, they need to ensure people have a better understanding of the charity and its aims. This isn’t as easy to measure, but that emotional connection is key to developing longer-term relationships with supporters, rather than blithely handing over £2 every Christmas.


In part 2, Louise O’Donoghue discusses areas for improvement in the campaign and advice to Save the Children, including how they can further increase brand awareness. Watch this space!

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