The cross-dressing comedian, Eddie Izzard, launches the
Government’s Millennium Gift Aid scheme this week with a pounds 4
million campaign aimed at young people by Rainey Kelly Campbell
The direct response television commercial - Rainey Kelly’s first work
for the Government - shows Izzard following a tax man through the
streets of London while the Kinks’ song, Sunny Afternoon, plays in the
The tax man is surprised to find himself greeted warmly by everyone he
passes - people stop to hug him, shake his hand, have a dance with him
or even to thrust a baby into his arms.
Meanwhile, Izzard explains to the camera why the tax man is suddenly so
remarkably popular - it is because he is giving an extra pounds 30 to
overseas charities for every pounds 100 donated by taxpayers.
The Millennium Gift Aid phone number appears on screen and on a bus-side
during the ad. Rainey Kelly and its below-the-line sister agency, HPT
Brand Response, were instrumental in setting up the phoneline and
devising a paper-free system for donating. Computers generate a random
list of three of the qualifying charities, from which callers choose
their final selection of organisations to receive their donations, which
can be given in instalments as small as pounds 5, provided they start by
The Millennium Gift Aid scheme, which the Chancellor, Gordon Brown,
announced in last year’s Budget, began last July and continues until the
end of 2000.
MT Rainey, the planning partner at Rainey Kelly, said: ’We found that
young people, who are not generally in the habit of giving, were very
motivated by the partnership aspect. Eddie Izzard was the perfect choice
- he’s alternative and has integrity yet he’s popular and loveable.’
National press inserts, travel and cinema tickets, beer mats and a
website will support the TV ads, which were directed by Paul Weiland and
created by Seb Bishop and James Burrows. Media planning and buying is by
Motive and MediaVest.