This little poll attracted 571 responses.
Thank you to all who took part.
Your comments on the TV advert were varied and fascinating. The comments were generally less positive towards the advert than the voting – people who like things might take a few seconds to vote but don’t go out of their way to make a comment?
Question 1: Are you an RSPB member?
No – and I never will be in the future 9%
No – but I might be in the future 26%
Yes I am 65%
Many people responded that as far as they were concerned the advert wouldn’t make much difference to how they felt about the RSPB (42%) but 23% would feel a bit keener to support the RSPB and 19% a lot keener to support them: only 16% of respondents said the advert would make them feel less keen to support the RSPB (6% a lot less keen and 10% a bit less keen).
Results like this will have persuaded the RSPB that this advert was worth the money – 42% of people seeing this advert felt keener (or much keener) to support the RSPB, and that figure is much higher than the number of people where the reaction was to feel less keen to support the RSPB (only 16%).
Question 3: How do you think that watching this advert will, on the whole, make people in general feel about supporting the RSPB?
There is more good news here for the RSPB (although, clearly it isn’t ‘news’ because they will have tested this advert before releasing it into the ‘wild’.
Most people (54%) thought that the general public would be keener to support the RSPB after watching the advert and only 5% thought that people would be put off (leaving 40% who didn’t think it would make much difference).
So, to summarise; overall, visitors to this website liked the advert themselves or weren’t much bothered about it either way, and thought that the general public would receive it even more favourably. There was an element of ‘I don’t mind it, in fact I quite like it, but others will like it more than I do‘.
We can take this analysis a little further – and it’s interesting if we do.
Not surprisingly, on this website, most respondents are RSPB members (well done!). Of those who aren’t members some say they will never be members. Although these people may see the light in future they are obviously not very warm to the RSPB at the moment. But some people are ‘warm’ non-members – we might call them ‘prospects’.
If you want to grow your support (financial, moral, volunteering etc) then ideally anything you do will keep the existing members happy and make the prospects even happier. In other words you maintain your current supporters but recruit some prospects. We can look to see if this seems to be the case – and it is.
When answering Question 2, 15% of RSPB members and 13% of prospects ‘didn’t like it’ – both are small numbers.
44% of RSPB members were not much influenced by the advert, but 22% said they felt keener to support the RSPB and 19% said they felt a lot keener – that looks like maintaining your supporter base to me. But when it came to prospects, 30% were relatively unmoved whereas 32% were a bit keener on giving the RSPB their support and 23% were a lot keener to support the RSPB.
This is just what you want an advert to do – or indeed any communication to do. If the tests that the RSPB carried out gave similar results, and I am sure they will have been much more detailed but broadly similar, then this advert is very good. This is what the RSPB Board and Council will have been told something like this by the new Fundraising and Communications Director, Beth Thoren: ‘Some people don’t like it (but not many people) and quite a lot of them didn’t like us anyway. Current members mostly like it or aren’t bothered either way. Prospects like it a lot and feel keener to support us. Give me the money and I will increase the RSPB’s membership.’
There are things that can go wrong but this looks like a sound strategy. Is enough money being invested to make sure that people do actually see the advert – I haven’t seen it on TV except once when I went looking for it? Will that investment take resources away from other areas that are important in maintaining support – like actually doing some conservation work? Were people telling the truth about how they felt and will that actually translate into action, money, support? Will the RSPB’s competitors raise their game and nullify any impact? We’ll see.