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Foundation Synapsis – Alzheimer Research Switzerland
"Fund-Raising Campaign to Help Restore Erased Memories."

Client: Foundation Synapsis – Alzheimer Research Switzerland
Product: NGO
Title: Fund-Raising Campaign to Help Restore Erased Memories.
Media: Direct Mailing
Country: Switzerland
Date Of Campaign: September 2018

Background: The number of dementia cases is rising rapidly, with more than 28,000 new patients a year recorded in Switzerland alone. Researchers estimate that up to 300,000 people will have Alzheimer’s disease in the country by 2040. It is therefore becoming a common disease that can affect anyone. Sadly, research into the disease is not as advanced as cancer research, for instance. Foundation Synapsis – Alzheimer Research Switzerland (an industry-independent foundation) is determined to change this. With this in mind, it supports both fundamental and clinical research. In particular, the foundation funds and supports young, talented researchers at universities and other institutions in Switzerland. Synapsis is reliant on donations from the general public to finance its work.

Idea: To mark World Alzheimer’s Day on September 21, 1.2 million Swiss households received a bulk mailing encouraging them to donate so that maximum resources can be poured into industry-independent research and so that effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease can be developed as soon as possible. A fund-raising mailing was created featuring erased passages that made it harder to read. The erased sections became more frequent toward the end of the letter, reflecting the disease progression. After all, the memories of Alzheimer’s patients are increasingly and irretrievably erased.

Results: Synapsis received donations totaling CHF 500,000 in the ten weeks after the mailing, with more expected. The response rate was therefore 25.4 percent higher than in the previous year. The average amount of donations was also increased from CHF 48.37 to CHF 54.05, which corresponds to an increase of 11.7 percent. The average donation in German-speaking Switzerland increased by 52.7 percent compared to 2017. What’s more, the campaign has contributed toward the organization’s positive brand image, as Synapsis has never before received so much spontaneous positive feedback on a campaign.

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