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To make a donation to WaterAid, you only need to go to the swimming pool.

Matthieu JOLLY
3 minutes
With Hope Locker, NGOs appeal to donors’ generosity when they are more receptive.

The facts

The English non-governmental organization WaterAid has been providing drinking water and sanitation systems to the most marginalized people in the world for 35 years, while pursuing a policy of promoting hygiene. Constantly on the search for new funds, the NGO is testing Hope Locker, an innovative and original scheme thought out by the Proximity London agency in partnership with MediaMonks.

Its principle is simple: turn swimming pool lockers into donation machines. How? By fitting them with an interactive device. After putting their clothes into lockers, swimmers are as usual prompted to insert a 1 pound coin into the slot. On the screen fitted to the locker, they then see the coin drop into the water! A way of arousing their curiosity… When they have done their lengths, the screen tells them how long they have spent in the water and how many children have died in that length of time. One child dies throughout the world every minute due to drinking contaminated water!

For the swimmer, it’s now time to choose: give a coin to WaterAid to help it pursue its projects, or ask for it back. The Hope Locker thus reverses the roles; it’s the swimmer rather than the NGO who makes the request. According to Charlotte Forrest, Special Project Manager for WaterAid, it’s hard for the swimmer not to be touched by the NGO’s message: “I love the idea. It’s really different and innovative, and there’s a clear link to our vision and values as an organization”.


As digital technology intrudes more and more into everyday life at the risk of seeing small change disappear, the Hope Locker draws its strength from contextualizing the donation. For John Treacey, Executive Creative Director at Proximity London, “The Hope Locker dials up the empathy“. In effect, swimmers naturally care about water quality and so are more inclined to give. And the initial reactions are encouraging. Every week each locker generates £22 of donations, making a total of £136,800 per annum for an average swimming pool with 120 lockers! “We’re really excited to see how the idea can be further developed after the encouraging results”… It’s easier to understand WaterAid’s enthusiasm for the scheme!

The Loyalty Development and CRM teams of brands and retail chains are constantly racking their brains to send “the right message to the right person through the right channel at the right time”. Hence the recent keen interest in global positioning, and more particularly the beacon, which for some people seems to be THE solution to all customer relationship challenges.

With its interactive locker, Proximity London demonstrates that what matters above all is the customer experience. The strength of the scheme lies in its ability to touch those who care most about water quality when they are most receptive. The Hope Locker clearly illustrates this ever present commerce, ATAWAD or Any Time Any Where Any Device, in which the customer makes choices based on the services provided by brands and retail chains. Just like Peak Performance’s Catch Magic Hour or Comptoirs des Cotonniers’ Fast Shopping schemes, the interesting thing is that the customer does not need to make an effort to buy or donate. It’s the brand, or the NGO in this instance, that makes the approach and offers an option. And it’s up to individuals to decide whether to prove their self-worth by responding positively… Customer Power!

Lien pour faire un don :

Hope Locker 2016 from ProximityLondon on Vimeo.

Matthieu JOLLY
Facing with the changes in retail, today's innovations help Matthew to think about tomorrow's relationship between the brand and the consumer.
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