The campaign will feature two “big entertainment extravaganzas featuring some of your favourite stars from television, music and showbusiness on ITV1”. The first one will take place in early December and the second will take place live over Christmas. Viewers will be invited to text Santa, or donate by landline, online or at their bank. Donations will be split between each of the charities benefiting from the appeal.
The campaign involves in-store promotion by Asda and coverage on Global Radio’s Heart network. Freud Communications is running the campaign’s PR and jointly came up with the campaign idea.
ITV1 is currently inviting nominations for people who deserve a reward at Christmas for their dedication in helping others. “We are looking for deserving individuals, families, groups and even communities across the UK to surprise this festive season with magical, unforgettable and once in a lifetime, money-can’t-buy experiences”, says the campaign’s website.
One of the beneficiary charities WRVS. Verity Haines, its Director for Fundraising and Engagement, said: “This is terrific news for WRVS, for all those who volunteer and those who benefit from our services. To be selected as one of the nine charities to benefit shows how valued our work is. Christmas can be an extremely lonely time for many older and vulnerable people but with the help of ITV1 WRVS will be able to ensure as many as possible who might otherwise be on their own will benefit from our good neighbours projects, befriending schemes and local lunch clubs.”
This year’s charities were selected by an advisory panel from a list provided by the Charities Aid Foundation. The chosen charities for Text Santa 2011 are:
• Carers UK
• Help the Hospices
• Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity
• The Noah’s Ark Appeal
• Helping Hand
• Yorkhill Children’s Foundation.
Peter Fincham, ITV Director of Television said: “This is a superb opportunity for us to throw the weight of the UK’s biggest commercial broadcaster behind a brand new charity initiative and event. Text Santa will be a fantastic entertainment centrepiece to the ITV1 Christmas schedule, but more importantly it will raise awareness and funds for a range of causes which can make a real difference to people’s lives.”
ITV1 is already planning to run the campaign again at Christmas 2012. Applications to be one of the beneficiary charities will open in early 2012 and will be featured on the campaign’s website.
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