JDRF Hug Rufus

The Problem

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) needed an online campaign to accomplish four goals:

  1.     Increase online engagement with their existing donor base
  2.     Tie into the JDRF OneWalk®, their biggest event of the year
  3.     Position JDRF as an expert voice on type 1 diabetes (T1D)
  4.     Acquire new names on their file

The Solution

After reviewing past online campaigns, Pursuant recommended an engagement with a strategic shift to something simpler and more light-hearted, yet with the ability to promote deeper engagement. The Hug Rufus campaign invited the JDRF community to help iconic character Rufus, the Bear with Diabetes®, go on a virtual awareness-raising “walk” by giving him a virtual hug.

Participants visited the landing page to fill in their name, email address, and relationship to type 1 diabetes in order to hug Rufus. Each hug was rewarded with a fun animation and the opportunity to download helpful resources. Rufus also moved along a map to show the progress of his “walk.” The campaign was supported by emails, social sharing, organic social media posts, and paid social media.

Going Beyond

By going beyond previous communication models, we were able to significantly boost results over previous years. The campaign reaped strong user engagement, gaining 13k+ reactions on social media, more than 3x the previous year’s campaign. With 3k+ T1D resource downloads, it helped establish JDRF as an expert in the field. 4k+ conversions and 1,100 new email addresses also far outpaced the 272 new email addresses of the previous year’s campaign. As an added bonus, the landing page allowed for data collection on the user’s relationship to T1D for messaging segmentation later.

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