Christmas Creative: Our top 7 charity campaigns

This article is part of a series inspired by our webinar on Wednesday 11 May 2022; Creative inspiration for your 2022 charity Christmas campaign.

Keep reading for our top insights and planning tips, or watch the full session below. For more festive creative inspiration, see our favourite charity campaigns of Christmas past.

Thinking about your next Christmas campaign? Looking for some creative inspiration? Well, look no further! I’ve rounded up 7 of my favourite campaigns of Christmas past.

I’ve chosen each example for a different reason so I hope you’ll leave inspired. However, if I manage to spark any thoughts, questions or ideas, I’d love to hear them – drop me a line at

Shelter The Drive

First up, a really great example of storytelling in film. There have been some incredible charity Christmas films, so it was really hard to narrow it down. However, I’ve chosen Shelter’s The Drive as a brilliant example of simple, effective and emotive storytelling. The film achieved £1.3 million in donations, and created a 60% increase in Facebook donations.

Great Ormond Street Home for Christmas 

Next up is another example of good storytelling, though this time it’s an animation. Interestingly, animation and charity often don’t mix so well. In fact, research frequently shows that animated or illustrated charity marketing content doesn’t achieve the same return as live-action or photography. It’s not clear exactly why this is, but I’d speculate it’s related to building strong connection and authenticity.

However, I’d argue that this example from GOSH is a massive exception. The gorgeous film starts with children falling to sleep on a hospital ward before their beds come to life, returning them home for Christmas. That in itself is enough to tug the heartstrings, but then it cleverly introduces live-action, helping to build the connection to the real stories behind the film. I love it (and I’m sure you will too).

Shelter The Good Fire

Yes, Shelter have made the list twice! But this time I want to talk about audience participation. I don’t mean in a ‘he’s behind you’ way, but rather inviting audiences to more actively engage with your cause. Often, we rely on likes, shares, tags, or user-generated content (UGC) in our campaigns. But this campaign takes a different approach. 

Joining forces with YouTube, The Good Fire earn ad revenue on every view, with funds donated to Shelter. So, to actively participate, the viewer simply needs to hit play. Such a simple but really effective idea, because it taps into something people are already doing at Christmas (much like Save the Children’s brilliant Christmas Jumper Day!).

RNID Xmas Game

Along similar lines, a quick look at a value exchange campaign. 

Again, I think the idea behind this campaign really hits the mark. In a nutshell, RNID wanted to raise awareness of ‘dinner table syndrome’ – referring to deaf people or people with hearing loss being left out of conversations around the dinner table.

In response, RNID designed an innovative dinner table game. The interactive campaign aimed to not only include deaf people and those with hearing loss but also to help make others more aware. 

The campaign initially asked for a donation. In exchange, donors received a game pack with three rounds of family favourite games with a deaf aware twist. Fun and festive but with a clear, tangible message.

Age UK No one should have no one

Of course, you can’t talk about charities at Christmas without mentioning Age UK. However, I’m particularly talking about the creative proposition here, because ‘No one should have no one’ is exactly what creative propositions should be. It is simple yet emotive and points to direct and tangible action. This film from 2017 gets me every time too.

Dog’s Trust A Dog is for Life, Not Just for Christmas

An oldie but a goodie! I’ve chosen this one because it’s a brilliant example of how long-lasting a proposition can be.

There are plenty of ads to choose from over the years, but this one is my personal favourite. It’s a good reminder that injecting humour into Christmas campaigns can be completely valid – as long as you know your brand and your audience.

Tiny Tickers

Finally, I wanted to take a look at an experiential campaign. This is when you take your campaign out of people’s screens and into the world for them to experience first-hand. 

Tiny Tickers aims to improve the early detection, diagnosis, and care of babies with congenital heart disease. So they had the idea to connect London’s iconic Christmas Lights to a young heart patient’s heart rate monitor, pulsing them in time to the beat to shine a light on children’s heart conditions. Super moving and memorable. 10/10 from me.

What can we learn?

While this isn’t a definitive list of every charity Christmas campaign ever, hopefully, it’s a helpful source of inspiration to get you thinking. So what can we take away? Here are some top tips:

  • Reflect your brand personality: To truly stand out, creative should be a reflection of its maker. Don’t lose track of who you are and, most importantly, who your donor is to you.
  • Consider involving your audiences: Encouraging audience interaction can elevate your content from a proclamation to a full-blown conversation.
  • Power of partnerships: Some of the most successful Christmas campaigns involve partnering with a brand, so shoot your shot. However, bear in mind that it’s not always a holy grail. NFP research shows that charities can be overshadowed by their big name partners, with significantly fewer people able to recall the charity (check out Hannah’s article for more on this).
  • Understand what drives your audience: Often we as consumers share content to present ourselves in a certain light, and the same is true for your audiences. So, my advice is to think about how your audiences might use your content as social currency and commit to tapping into that.

We can help!

As you can probably tell, we’re really excited about Christmas and would love to work with you this year! Drop us an email at 

For more insights, advice and references to aid your festive planning, read our article, 10 tips for your 2022 charity Christmas campaign.

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