As the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation’s (PMCF) first-ever socially driven digital fundraising event, the #NoHairSelfie campaign set a new standard in cancer fundraising. The social media-based campaign invited “hair-ticipants” to show solidarity with cancer patients by shaving their heads either actually, or virtually via the #NoHairSelfie app. As the fundraising arm of one of the top 5-cancer research centres in the world, PMCF wanted a social media fundraising campaign that would connect with audiences across the digital stream.
Social media driven engagement encouraged the sharing of #NoHairSelfies and challenging friends to shave.
The challenge was to create a unique, shareable concept that would resonate with the target audience, and differentiate the PMCF effort from the many other social media engagements taking place before and up to WCD. Campaign specific communication objectives were centred on creating awareness about cancer research.
Research shows that 40% of Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, and one of the most visible and distressing signs of cancer treatment is hair loss. The #NoHairSelfie campaign would be promoted through a custom website and app. Participants could register to shave their heads, either actually or virtually (via the app) on WCD to demonstrate solidarity with cancer patients, and to raise funds for cancer research.
The #NoHairSelfie campaign communicated with its target audience in their comfort zone: the digital sphere. A custom designed, fully responsive website optimized for social media allowed for social interaction and campaign participation, while an innovative virtual head-shaving app introduced a unique element to the campaign. Social media driven engagement encouraged the sharing of #NoHairSelfies and challenging friends to shave. Donations could be made via both app and website.