Creativity

Multiple Sclerosis Australia: Coin Operated Scientist

Melbourne's Cummins & Partners has devised a remarkable stunt to help raise money and awareness for MS research. The "Coin Operated Scientist" booth, seen here at a Melbourne street fair in February, is a "mini research laboratory

Published on Mar 21, 2007

Editor's Pick

Melbourne's Cummins & Partners has devised a remarkable stunt to help raise money and awareness for MS research. The "Coin Operated Scientist" booth, seen here at a Melbourne street fair in February, is a "mini research laboratory with a coin slot in the front," explains writer Matthew Page. "Inside, a 'scientist' sits slumped and motionless. When people make donations, he conducts experiments until he feels the money has run out. By inserting money to keep the scientist working, the spectators have an incentive to donate and they achieve an instant sense of satisfaction." The scientist is actually a Multiple Sclerosis Australia volunteer doing a three-hour shift, but he can't totally fake it; he must "practice simple science experiments, designed for 10-year-olds and up, before he starts the performance," says Page. The booth will raise as much as $150 an hour at a busy event, but the key consideration is "it consistently draws crowds and generates interest." Flyers providing more information on MS research and donations are, as you'd expect, handed out at the scene.

As for the carnival aspect of it, such offbeat ideas are essential for reaching new donors. One of the nation's largest charities, Multiple Sclerosis Australia has "many tried-and-true methods of attracting donations, but there's a ceiling to the number of people giving and the amount raised if it's promoted only in the usual ways to the usual audience," says Page. "There

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About

Credits

Date
Mar 21, 2007
Art Director:
Carolyn Davis
Copywriter:
Matthew Page
Client:
Multiple Sclerosis Australia
Agency:
Cummins & Partners

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