THE BLOG

A TV First, an Ad That Can Talk to Your Phone

13/05/2015 12:31 BST | Updated 13/05/2016 10:59 BST

Something exciting is happening this week, something that could revolutionise the way charities use TV to drive donations.

Christian Aid has teamed up with PowaTag to launch the world's first interactive TV advert using their innovative new app which will allow people across the UK the opportunity to donate immediately using their smartphone.

The TV advert, which will appear on ITV this week until 16 May, will promote our biggest annual fundraising drive, Christian Aid Week (10-16 May), and aims to encourage people to download the app and make either a one-off donation or sign up to become regular givers.

Powa Technologies have also pledged to match fund the first £10,000 donated to Christian Aid using the app.

Here's the science bit. The ad will use PowaTag's disruptive audiotagging technology to

send out an inaudible signal to the viewer's smartphone which allows them to make a secure donation in a matter of seconds by simply activating the app. They then simply choose the amount to give and tap again to confirm. The viewer is alerted to the ability to make donations by the PowaTag logo appearing on the screen.

PowaTag is free to download from iTunes and Google Play Stores and enables users to immediately complete transactions with their phone or tablet using pre-entered information.

Powatag short-circuits the data flow, meaning we can report back to donors much more quickly than through current methods, such as text giving. We are using Powatag for donations on this advert, but it can also be used by retailers to sell all kinds of products. Powatag has already been used in print advertising and online, but broadcast is new territory.

We are extremely lucky to have thousands of amazing volunteers who pound the streets knocking on doors across the country collecting money to fight global poverty and social injustice during Christian Aid week. Last year we raised £11 million to help some of the world's poorest communities.

But, while we are very proud of the work they do, one of the challenges we face as an organisation is the fact that how we live our lives has changed dramatically since we launched the week in 1957. More of us live in flats, communities have become more fragmented and people work longer hours, making it increasingly difficult to reach all households in just one week.

So we need to make our advertising work harder for us, to not only raise awareness of Christian Aid and support our volunteers, but to give people more opportunities to give from the comfort of their own sofa. 62 per cent of people in the UK now have a smartphone, and most have them have it close at hand when watching TV, so this technology is the perfect channel to reach a potential audience of millions.

This year we mark our 70th anniversary, but like all charities we need to move with the times and embrace new technologies in order to make it easier for people with busy lives to donate at a time convenient to them. PowaTag has great potential for the charity sector and we are delighted to be able to broadcast a world first with this innovative new advert.

The advert, which can also be viewed on YouTube and works in the same way as the TV version, will be supported by PowaTag educational material across our website, social media channels, email and offline advertisements.

Looking forward we can also see the enormous potential of Powatag in other areas of our work. As an organisation at the forefront of campaigning on global issues, such as climate change and tax justice, we are really excited about the ability of PowaTag to allow supporters to not only donate, but also to take an action such as signing a petition. So we are now working with Powatag to explore ways we can incorporate its use into our campaigns work.

And as if this was not exciting enough, Powa Technologies have pledged to match fund the first £10,000 donated to Christian Aid using the app, so what are you waiting for, get the Powa to give and download the app.