Delivering an “electrifying” car raffle campaign

In the last three issues we have provided insight into how Milton Keynes-based, creative and digital design agency, Cygnus is working with businesses and brands of all shapes and sizes to deliver a better brand experience on behalf of its client partners.

This month we are focussing on how Cygnus has partnered with MK Community Foundation to deploy the creative campaign of its annual car raffle, something that MK Community Foundation has now been facilitating for over 30 years.

MK Community Foundation has a credible support network, having funded many local charities and community groups since its inception in 1986. As an independent charity working for and at the heart of Milton Keynes, the Foundation connects people and resources to projects and ideas to create positive impacts and enduring solutions for communities in and around Milton Keynes.

The Challenge

To generate awareness and interest for the campaign, members of the public are invited to purchase raffle tickets for just £1 and are automatically entered into a prize draw to win; the first prize of a car (donated by VW Group) or two runners-up cash prizes. Participants are able to select their preferred cause from a list of local charities and community groups where 50% of their ticket purchase will directly benefit them, with the remaining 50% going directly to MK Community Foundation’s community grants fund.

In previous years, MK Community Foundation has utilised traditional ticketing methods by selling paper tickets through MK-based volunteer groups to support and promote the annual car raffle. This has worked particularly well as many of those volunteers have also been the beneficiaries of the proceeds generated by the raffle. However, the technological developments over the last 30 years have led to an era where paper transactions are less practical and cost-effective than they once were. Realising a need to adapt the methods that the car raffle campaign had previously used, the team at MK Community Foundation approached Cygnus to create a campaign to engage a public-facing audience and make the transition from a paper-based raffle to a digital one in 2019.

In addition to the challenge of selling tickets, there was the added requirement to explain to the wider community exactly what MK Community Foundation does and the impact it has as a result. This was a key part of the brief that the Cygnus team took onboard.

“We’re always proud and committed to work with the Milton Keynes community. Collaborating with MK Community Foundation means a great deal to us, it resonates with one of our core values of supporting our community, whilst utilising our creative thinking”, says Managing Director, Martin Carmody.

The Solution

From a creative perspective, the Cygnus team looked at how to best make a visual impact with the campaign, ensuring that a strong online presence would be maintained. The concept was based around communicating some of the core areas that MK Community Foundation supports; growing stronger communities, ensuring better wellbeing and bringing about positive changes across our communities.

With this years’ first prize being a VW e-Golf, Cygnus opted to incorporate the headline messaging with both the car and the core themes. The campaign headline reads ‘Electrify your commute and help your community for £1’; ensuring that the objectives of the campaign are met with regards to communication of the impact of MK Community Foundation.

Visually the concept centres around the car being ‘dressed’ to support the three themes. ‘Stronger Communities’ draws inspiration from MK’s concrete cows, ‘Better Wellbeing’ encourages more active and healthy lifestyles and ‘Positive Changes’ utilises graffiti art with a bright and inspirational application. A short animation of the car showcases how the vehicle then has ‘costume changes’ to reflect how the campaign supports these themes.

“We wanted to create a campaign that people noticed. Creating something that makes people stop and ask questions means that you have their attention”, explains Senior Creative, George Lah-Anyane.

Certain aspects of the previous campaign were required to remain, such as the car being located in a prime location in Centre:MK to generate interest from the public. Supporting volunteer groups were also scheduled to engage with shoppers, encouraging them to purchase raffle tickets. This part of the project required graphics applied to the car itself, as well as onto stand graphics, assisting to elevate the presence of the vehicle in the physical space. This meant an amalgamation of the car’s themed costumes was created to help communicate the themes. The same graphics also featured on other promotional collateral as well as digital spaces.

The Result

Visually, the campaign has had the intended stand-out, drawing the attention of all who see it, both online and in person, generating results through footfall, awareness and ultimately ticket sales. Campaign applications have spanned an array of outputs, including:

- Campaign strategy

- Website

- Digital display units

- Social media strategy

- Social channel assets

- Animations

- Car wrap graphic designs

- Box stand display

- Press adverts

- Radio ad scripts

- Email signatures

- Press releases

At time of writing, the campaign is still live and runs until Monday 6th January 2020, meaning that until that date individuals can participate in the car raffle by visiting

The vehicle is located in Centre:MK near Marks & Spencer up until the week of the raffle draw, with volunteer groups helping to promote the raffle on-site and the campaign is gaining momentum as awareness grows via both physical and digital channels.