What Facial Expression Works Best for Fundraising?

The face, with its endless capability for communication, is believed to be the primary non-verbal channel for emotional communication. Have you ever wondered why we always see sad facial expressions for fundraising? It follows that images of victims on charity appeals attempt to elicit reactions such as sympathy and subsequently encourage donations.

Research reported in the AMA Journal of Marketing Research - The Face of Need: Facial Emotion Expression on Charity Advertisements  found that sad faces prompt more giving:

"people are more sympathetic and give more to a charity when the victim portrayed on the advertisement expressed sadness than when a victim expressed happiness or neutral emotion.... Taken together, the findings imply the importance of subtle emotional cues that sway sympathy and giving."

One of the findings showed higher response rates for the sad child than the happy or neutral one:

Donation by image, Happy child, Neutral Child, Sad Child, Cre8ive Marketing If you have a fundraising campaign, think carefully about the emotion expressed on your lead image.

Six Principles of Great Content

Six principles of great content


The six principles of great content is a great starting point for your marketing plan that specifically relates to content. It should include details such as the key topic areas you will cover, what content you will create, when and how to share your content and specific calls to action you will include.

Content Marketing Strategy

At its core, your content marketing strategy is your “why.” Why you are creating content, who you are helping, and how you will help them in a way no one else can. Organisations typically use content marketing to build an audience which they can then leverage for increased sales or to develop loyalty.

Content comes in a variety of options such as blogs, whitepapers, how to guides, infographics, webinars, podcasts and videos.
Check out this '25 Ways to Wear a Scarf in 4.5 Minutes’ video that is a very creatively visual way of illustrating the different ways you can wear your scarf. It has close to 40 million views.

Develop Your Value Proposition

When it comes to choosing a product or service, customers have more options at their disposal than ever before. For your brand to stand out, you need to clearly define what your organisation offers that’s different to your competitors. To do this effectively, you will need to write a value proposition. It’s the primary reason a prospect should buy from you.

Basically the value proposition is a clear statement that tells your audience:

Believable and persuasive reasons people should notice you and take the action you’re asking for.
  • how your product/service solves customers’ problems or improves their situation
  • what specific benefits customers can expect
  • why they should buy from you and not from the competition

What makes you valuable?

People won’t buy from you if they don’t understand what you are offering and how it relates to them.

Develop Your Value PropositionWhat the Value Proposition consists of

There is no ‘right’ way to formulate your value proposition but here are some suggestions:

  • Headline. What is the end-benefit you’re offering in one short sentence. Can mention the product and/or the customer. This is the attention grabber.
  • Sub-headline or a 2-3 sentence paragraph. A specific explanation of what you do/offer, for whom and why is it useful.
  • 3 bullet points. List the key benefits or features.
  • Visual. Our brains process images 60,000 times faster than text. Show the product, the hero shot or an image reinforcing your main message.

A truly great value proposition paints a picture of your brand for prospects


Evaluate your value proposition by checking whether it answers these questions:

  • What product or service is your company selling?
  • What is the end-benefit of using it?
  • Who is your target customer for this product or service?
  • What makes your offering unique and different?

Examples of Value Propositions

Send Better Email
Just three words. That’s all that MailChimp needs to tell you what its brand is all about. It’s simple, direct, and clear. Use its service and you will send better email - end of story.


Shorten. Share. Measure
Known for its link shortening, Bitly is all about removing clutter and being concise, so it’s natural that the company’s value proposition reflect these traits as well.

The Uber homepage excellently conveys the simplicity and ease that lies at the heart of what makes it such a tempting service:

  • One tap and a car comes directly to you
  • Your driver knows exactly where to go
  • Payment is completely cashless

What the value proposition is NOT

It’s not a slogan or a catch phrase. This is not a value proposition:
L’Oréal. Because we’re worth it.

To assist in the development of your value proposition answer these questions

  1. Who is your customer?
    Demographics as well as details such as who influences the purchase, what are their values and what is the timeline for their purchase.
  2. What problem do you solve?
    From your customer’s perspective, what challenge are you solving for them?
  3. What are your distinctive benefits?
    List three to five benefits your customer gets from choosing your product/service that customers don’t get from going elsewhere.
  4. What’s your brand promise?
    This is like a pledge. What will you always do for your customers? It could be something like a money‑back happiness guarantee on every order.
  5. How does it fit together?
    Create a single paragraph from your answers so far, with the aim to end up with a unique message.
  6. Can you make it shorter?
    Now, refine. Take your time, review again and again until you’ve distilled your value proposition to one clear line that captures what you want to say.
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Avoid Getting Your Instagram Account Banned or Hacked

Instagram has developed into a leading social media tool for brands and there’s one feature that most would like to be able to do - schedule photos that auto post to Instagram! Even though this feature would lessen the headaches for social media managers - did you realise that if you find such a tool, using it puts your Instagram account at risk of getting banned or hacked?

Earlier in July there seems to have been an Instagram bug that make users accounts appear to be deleted. So, how can you keep your Instagram account safe?

Simply put, don't violate Instagram's terms of use which includes using apps that automatically post to Instagram for you.

Here’s a list of things you can’t do:

  • No Auto Posting to Instagram: “You shall not use the Instagram APIs to post automated content to Instagram, including likes and comments that were not initiated and entered by an Instagram user.”
  • No Instagram Bots: “Don’t participate in any “like,” “share,” “comment,” or “follower” exchange programs”
  • No Hacked API: “Don’t reverse engineer the Instagram APIs or any of Instagram’s apps” and “You must not access Instagram’s private API by means other than those permitted by Instagram”

Also, you should also avoid any software, websites, or apps that ask you to “log in” with your Instagram account on their own page, instead of Instagram’s secure login page.

Safe Instagram schedulers like Later, Hootsuite, Planoly and Buffer can’t see your private Instagram messages, they can’t post to Instagram for you, and they don’t know your Instagram password.

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What Works: Positive or Negative Superlatives in Headlines?

Do you want to write more effective headlines?

A superlative is an adjective of the highest kind, quality, or order; surpassing all else or others. It indicates the greatest degree of the quality that the adjective describes. Best is the superlative form of good; fastest is the superlative form of fast.

Superlatives - words like best, biggest, greatest - can be effective in headlines. But it turns out that negative superlatives (like least) can be even more powerful.

In a study of 65,000 titles, Outbrain compared positive superlative headlines, negative superlatives headlines and no superlative headlines. The study found that headlines with positive superlatives performed 29% worse and headlines with negatives performed 30% better. The average click-through rate on headlines with negative superlatives was 63% higher than with positive ones.

positive vs negative superlatives in headlines

There are a few theories on why this might be:

  • Positive superlatives may have become cliched through overuse, which leads to them being ignored.
  • It may be that negatives are more intriguing because they're unexpected and surprising.
  • Negatives also tap into our insecurities in a powerful way. Using negative words like "stop", "avoid," and "don't" often work because everyone wants to find out if there's something they're doing that they shouldn't.
  • Negative terms are more likely to be viewed as authentic and genuine.

In terms of news headlines, you are more likely to click on headlines like: "The worst economic dip in 30 years," "Unemployment numbers have never been lower," and "10 Ways Facebook is destroying your life."

Key Takeaways

When it comes to headlines, negative prevails over positive.

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Facebook’s 20% Text Rule on Images has Changed

If you have struggled with the strict 20% rule regarding the amount of text advertisers can have on their Facebook Ads, you will be relieved to know that Facebook has rolled out a change to this policy. Although don’t be surprised that if you want more text you will pay more.

Previously you could only have 20% of your ad covered with text. Facebook has admitted that Advertisers have found the 20% rule confusing and has decided to roll out a new policy so that your ads will no longer be rejected for having too much text. However, the more text in your image, you can expect less reach and higher costs.
Images will no longer be broken up into a 5×5 grid. Going forward, Facebook breaks down text density into four categories:

  • OK
  • Low
  • Medium
  • High

With the 20% rule, an advertiser who used a grid tool on their images would always know where their image falls (more or less than 20%) and therefore if it would be approved or not. Now it’s a matter of Facebook determining whether the amount of text is OK, Low, Medium or High.

Facebook's updated grid tool so that you can upload your images and get immediate feedback on where they determine text density falls.  If you create your ads in Power Editor, you will be given a warning that lets you know if the amount of text in your image may limit distribution.

Examples of the four text density categories:

Image Text: OK

Facebook still prefers little or no text in an image.
facebook example of ok amount of text


Image Text: Low

These ads are considered to have moderate text. Each of these ads have most of their copy in the text box, but there's still some copy directly on the images in each of them.
facebook example of low amount of text


Image Text: Medium

facebook example of medium amount of text


Image Text: High

While this ad will get approved, Facebook will severely restrict its reach and charge high costs.

facebook example of large amount of text


In summary, although the policy has changed, Facebook still prefers little or no text and if you want maximum reach you would be best to adhere to this.

At Cre8ive we implement and manage Facebook and Instagram Advertising campaigns for clients. If you would like to know more please email.


Ten Steps to Effective Facebook Marketing

Worldwide, there are over 1.86 billion monthly active Facebook users.

This platform offers more than just a way to stay in touch with friends and family; it is an essential item in the marketing toolbox. Facebook allows your business to be available to people on a trusted, popular platform, where prospects can see “real” people interacting with your brand. This is the foundation for you to build stronger relationships with them. Facebook often changes the rules and your audience changes their minds so what works today may not work tomorrow. You need to stay on top of the game by keeping up-to-date with the latest trends. Cre8ive has created a handy Facebook reference check sheet with the top ten points that every organisation should implement.

Need to know more? Through our training arm, Get Social, Cre8ive offers one-on-one Facebook Training for businesses - specifically tailored to your business or organisation. We can assist if you need help with maximising the Facebook tools, what to post and when to post, how to source ideas, how to advertise on Facebook, legal requirements and more! We will do an initial evaluation and audit of your page and go over the recommendations with you. Call Philippa 03 474 1075 to find out more or Email

Cre8ive's Facebook Guide


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“Relaxing the Rules” at The Fortune Theatre over the School Holidays

One of our clients has a new initiative and a first for Dunedin, which we think is fantastic.

It’s difficult for any parent to occupy busy minds over the school holidays, let alone those with learning difficulties. During the April school holidays however, there is an exciting treat to keep the kids entertained!

The Fortune Theatre is holding a ‘relaxed performance’ of their April school holiday play ‘Little Red Riding Hood.’ This new initiative is aimed at making theatre accessible to individuals with Autism and other sensitivity issues.

Bob King, General Manager of the Fortune Theatre, says “We’re pleased to be hosting a relaxed performance on 24 April for those on the autism spectrum, sensory and communication disorders or learning difficulties.”

“We want to welcome an audience who would benefit from a more relaxed, safe environment, including those for whom the regular theatre experience can be a challenge.”

People with disabilities, especially children and their families, can find it virtually impossible to be comfortable in a theatre environment, especially when required to be quiet in their seat for the duration of the entire show.

A Relaxed Performance is a stage production differing from the usual theatre show. The show is performed in a friendly, supportive environment including a reduction in loud noises, the house lights remain on and the children can roam around the theatre and sit where they like.

The Fortune Theatre envisages the Relaxed Performances to become part of their standard routine during the school holiday programme.

These school holiday performances run from Saturday 22 April through to 29 April, 11am and 2pm daily except ANZAC day where it’s just the 2pm performance and no show on Sunday 23 April.

This kiwi version of Little Red Riding Hood features Grandma, Red and the dastardly Big Bad Wolf… sure to delight the young and the young at heart. Red is a daring young girl with an active imagination that keeps getting her into trouble. In the end she will discover that she can’t wait around to be rescued, and must use her own talents to escape from the wolf.

You can book tickets online or pop into the Box Office at the Fortune Theatre.

Write Better Press Releases With Our Guide

Press releases are a major part of your PR efforts. Before you sit down to write a press release read over these key tips and use the worksheet as a guide to ensure all critical information is included.

Press Release Tips

Start Strong
You only have a matter of seconds to grab your readers’ attention, so you want to capture it with a strong opening. Your headline, summary and first paragraph should clarify your news. The rest of your release should provide the detail.

Write Professionally
If your release contains hype, slang, excessive exclamation points or typos, chances are it will be viewed as an advertisement rather than a news release, which may hurt credibility. Or worse, a media outlet may pick up your release and publish without modification, opening any sloppy writing to a larger audience.

Limit Jargon
The best way to communicate is to speak plainly using ordinary language. Using an abundance of technical language and jargon limits your reading audience.

Make sure your Release is Informational and Timely
Think about your audience. Will someone else find your story interesting? Answer this question, “Why should anyone care?” Your release ideally will contain pertinent information that highlights something new or unusual, and provides useful information to your audience.

Avoid Clichés and Stick to the Facts
Avoid phrases like “customers save money” or “great customer service” to announce or describe. Focus on the aspects of your announcement that truly set you apart from everyone else. Avoid fluff, embellishments, hype and exaggerations.

Pick an Angle
Make sure that your release has a good hook. Tying your information to current events, recent studies, trends and social issues brings relevance, urgency and importance to your message.

Illustrate the Solution
Use real examples to illustrate how your organisation solved a problem. Identify the problem and why your solution is the right solution.

Include Great Visuals
We are in a visual revolution - it is vital to provide relevant and stunning images to back up your release. As the majority of people skim read, providing an image that supports your copy will enhance the chances that they remember something about your article or, even better, act on it.

Be Concise
News search engines sometimes reject news releases with overly long headlines, excessive lists and high overall word counts. Eliminate unnecessary adjectives, flowery language or redundant expressions such as “added bonus” or “first time ever.”

Once written, print it and proofread it off-line. Edit and proofread again. Then pass it onto a colleague with a fresh pair of eyes to proofread again. We often miss our own errors.

Press Release Worksheet Questions

  • What is the news being announced?
  • What is the goal of this announcement?
  • What date is this announcement being made?
  • Why did you launch this product/service/event? Are there any statistics or data that will help make the case for why this is needed?
  • What is the most unique benefit of this news to audience?
  • What desire does it fill or problem does it solve? Why does anyone care? How is it different, better, new, innovative?
  • Is there a call to action? How does this prospective customer find out more? Do they call a phone number, go to a website, visit your booth, etc? (this will be used as a last sentence in the body of the press release)
  • Who can be quoted in the release to bring in a relevant viewpoint? Always get accurate information and sign‑off authorisation from anyone quoted.
  • What publications or other media do you want to release this to?
  • What type of tailored angle should you take in each release to get the editor’s attention.