How we used the power of nostalgia to get people walking door to door.

Göngum til góðs (roughly translated Walking for Good) is a biennial fundraising event orchestrated by the Red Cross in Iceland. The event’s mission is to get people to participate by walking door to door and receive donations in Red Cross’s name.

The challenge was that there are many other good causes to choose from. People can’t pick them all, so their choice is first and foremost dictated by emotion. So our goal was to strengthen Icelanders’ bond with the Red Cross and remind them that sharing is caring.

Following an intensive research period, we deducted that one of the strongest emotional connections Icelanders have to the Red Cross are the happy childhood memories of hosting a mini yard sale known in Iceland as “tombóla”. Kids would team up, scavenge unused objects and trinkets from various places and then sell the goods in order to give the proceeds to a good cause.

Last but not least was the kick of getting your picture taken for national newspapers underlining your participation for the Red Cross.

On this strong, emotional bond an entire campaign was founded. With the help of the Red Cross’s staff members, we collected over 2,000 photographs of proud children taken throughout the years. The photographs were uploaded to Facebook albums under the Icelandic Red Cross profile. The children pictured were tagged by their older selves on the social medium who in turn tagged others who then tagged others. The sweet nostalgia of the good ol’ days spread like wildfire.

People really enjoyed seeing and sharing these childhood photos of themselves and their friends. Fun conversations were had in the comment sections and many reclaimed long lost friends. Baring in mind that the total Icelandic population numbers just around 340,000 the results of 1,500 comments, 600 shares and 9,000 likes are pretty impressive.

To get the emotional bond going full circle, we looked up some of the now grown up fundraisers and had them tell us their story. These stories were then retold through boosted Facebook posts and various animated web banners.

The campaign was a success with a lot of shares on social media with very low costs. Many of these grownups, that once shared the feeling of giving to the greater good, did so again when participating in Göngum til góðs.