As the drought makes conditions in rural and remote communities even tougher than normal, enduring country children’s charity Royal Far West is preparing to launch its first National TV advertising campaign in 94-years of fundraising.
Aimed at increasing community awareness and funds for the services RFW provides to children across Australia, the campaign, Tin Can Telephone, will go live from July 16 and run across the Prime7 network.
Prime Media Group, via Prime7, will run the community service advertisement in two stages – first in NSW, SA, TAS, ACT and NT in July, before rolling out into Vic and Queensland and WA via GWN7 by late August, giving national exposure to the dilemma of country children’s developmental health and the difficulty that families have in accessing the right services and at the right time.
Fairfax Media is also supporting the campaign through press ads and display advertising from its digital portfolio, in addition to supporting editorial across the Australian Community mastheads such as The Newcastle Herald and The Courier.
This complements the existing community partnership between RFW and Fairfax that has conducted four Town Hall community meetings in Gunnedah, Macksville, Griffith and Parkes, exploring the issues of developmental vulnerability and the availability of services for country people.
Produced by The Hallway and shot in Dubbo NSW, the campaign uses the simple motif of a child’s tin can telephone to convey Royal Far West’s role in connecting Australian country kids to the developmental care they need – no matter where they live.
Royal Far West chief executive Lindsay Cane said the new brand campaign came off the back of a period of growth for RFW.
“RFW has been championing the health and wellbeing of country children for 94 years,” she said.
“Today, Royal Far West is a service provider, a capacity builder and an advocate for country children’s rights to access the specialist care they need. We are committed to overcoming the tyranny of distance and supporting kids in the bush with integrated health, education and disability services so that they can achieve their full potential. This TVC has been a long time coming for RFW, and it speaks to our mission in a really touching and impactful way.”
There are signs that children’s developmental health is worsening in rural and remote Australia. Demand for Royal Far West’s programs is growing, as is the complexity of the children and families who seek help.
Just five years ago RFW was supporting 700 children and families; now in 2018, they look after more than 5000 country children and families and they aim to reach 15,000 by 2020.
Developmental vulnerability comes at a high cost. Vulnerable children are at risk of growing up to be vulnerable adults, with poorer educational attainment, higher rates of chronic disease and mental health, and a greater tendency towards unemployment, homelessness and crime.
The Hallway ECD and Partner Simon Lee said there were so many facets to the amazing work that Royal Far West does.
“The challenge was how to sum it up in a single-minded compelling brand idea. Tin Can Telephone achieves this and gives our audience an emotive reason to care.”
Ms Cane said the campaign and support from media organisations was timely, and urged other media to get in contact with the RFW if they wished to discuss potential donations or discounts on campaign support.
“We believe that every Australian child has the right to the education, health and developmental care that will help them unlock their potential, wherever they live. We boldly go where the system stops, to wherever we are needed, and use technology to help ensure no community is beyond our reach,” Ms Cane said.
“The main limitation to delivering on this promise is funding and we hope the TVC can help us address this – and we’d love to see more media get behind us to help connect this important campaign with the hearts and minds of Australians across the nation.”
On a yearly basis, RFW sees thousands of children from rural and remote areas, through either its face-to-face Paediatric Developmental Program in Manly; within community; or by beaming into schools and clinics in remote areas via telecare. The children involved are helped for a wide range of health issues – including intellectual and speech delays, ADHD, Autism, behavioural disorders, disabilities mental health and other complex issues.
RFW enjoys a powerful, trusted partnership with the NSW and Federal governments and receives some incredible support from corporate partners, generous donors and trusted regional organisations like the Country Women’s Association (CWA).
Despite this, RFW is in need of wider support as demand for its services countrywide is growing exponentially and more kids and their families need early intervention.
Beyond 2020, RFW aims to be able to help 15,000 rural Australian children and families each year.