Children International launches DRTV campaign

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Nonprofit organization Children International has launched a long-form DRTV campaign developed by Northern Lights Direct.

The 30-minute program discusses the plights of three children and encourages viewers to make a donation by calling the company's 1-800 number, or visiting

Titled “A Child is Waiting,” the program is hosted by singer and actress Debbie Gibson, a long-time sponsor of Children International. Shot in the Philippines and Zambia, it is an extension of the DRTV efforts Children International and Northern Lights have produced for several years.

“It's an extension of an existing campaign, but it needed a refresh,” said Ian French, president of Northern Lights Direct, which will also handle the media buy for the program. “It's a very pure direct response program — it's measured, and media is invested based on performance.”

French added that the brand also wants to build awareness, as well as drive response and acquire donors. Another goal is to personalize the children being helped by demonstrating the depth of their needs.

“We try to personalize it by showing personal stories instead of just giving you statistics, and then we show how simple the solution is to take care of that through monthly giving,” said French.

The campaign asks donors to contribute $22 per month. Those who respond are mailed a package with information about their membership and where their money will be spent. The program also emphasizes the reputation of Children International.

“We talk about CI's track record and transparency, and have donors who have visited their children and gone out into the field give testimonies,” said French. “We try to demonstrate that sort of on-the-ground real impact.”

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