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Government & non-profit

Government & non-profit covers marketing by state entities such as government departments and the military, plus marketing for charities. Marketing for these institutions tends to focus on public behaviour (for example, encouraging people to stop smoking) or recruitment (to join the military or to a charity’s cause). As a result, marketers in these sectors have been particularly interested in lessons from behavioural economics.

Key Reading

Important papers from across the Warc database

This Best Practice paper argues that charities can teach other brands about using smaller budgets more efficiently. Charities have also taken their social competency into the digital space, where they have provided many significant successes in social media marketing.
Why governments wishing to change people's behaviour should concentrate on System 1 thinking.
How neuroscience research tools boosted effectiveness for The Shelter Pets Project.
TNS research showing how governments can make better use of online platforms to provide services.
Why branding political parties can be difficult, as parties depend on identity rather than consumption.

Case Study

This case study describes how Rwandan genocide survivors' charity, SURF, drove engagement and brand awareness to promote jewellery made by genocide widows, using audience surveys and data-optimised creative units.

Case Study

This case study describes how the NHS Leeds CCG (clinical commissioning group), part of the UK's health service, created a safe space for young people called 'MindMate;' a website to make Leeds' mental health services more accessible.

Case Study

This case study describes how the Donkey Sanctuary, a British charity, used a new design language to align its various brands to help grow the charity in a declining market.

Case Study

This case study describes how World Vision UK, a children's charity, reversed its decline in acquisitions by targeting affluent middle-aged women.

Case Study

This case study details how Brunel University, a London-based university, refreshed its design framework to reverse a trend of declining student numbers.

Case Study

This case study describes how non-profit organisation the Thai Health Promotion Foundation created AbsorbPlate, an innovative design inspired by the texture of sponge, that made Thai food less greasy, and helped tackle Thailand's obesity problem.
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This case study describes how Seeing Eye Dogs Australia created the first puppy subscription service to find foster carers for their litters of puppies.


This case study describes how the Thai Health Promotion Foundation invented HELPMET, the world's first helmet that can detect a serious head impact and call for help when riders are unconscious.

Research Paper

Given the increase in the volume of student mobility, this study explores how internationally mobile students, who are at the starting point of their life as global nomads, represent and give sense to the relationship with their brands in the context of relocation for study purposes.

Research Paper

This paper examines the relationship between political candidates’ use of Facebook and their election outcomes (vote share and election success).


This paper describes the RED innovation platform developed for the International Committee of the Red Cross, a system to manage insight across borders and use information to create solutions to humanitarian problems swiftly.


This article explores the flaws in the UK's political system and its advertising, which have been exposed by the result of a referendum in the UK on membership of the European Union.

Research Paper

This paper describes the research methods developed by UNICEF and its agency partner to measure the impact of its humanitarian support in remote areas of Africa, illustrated by two case studies.
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  1. Article

    This case study looks at Sport England's This Girl Can that inspired millions of women to exercise by reshaping the way the public thinks about the topic by taking aim at a core barrier: fear of judgement.

  2. Article

    This winning case study details the 'Groceries not Guns' campaign from Moms Demand Action, a pressure group for gun control in the US, who gained massive awareness and real policy change with only a fraction of the funding raised by its opponent, the NRA.

  3. Article

    This case shows how Sport England, the UK government agency for grassroots sport, reshaped the way women think about exercise with an online video and social media-led campaign.

  4. Article

    This case study describes how the US Navy recruited cryptologists via an alternate-reality puzzle-solving game on social media.

  5. Article

    This article demonstrates how behavioural economics (BE) is being employed to improve public and business policies.

  6. Article

    This case study describes how Metro Trains, a train company in Melbourne, Australia, created a humorous music video and facilitated social sharing to raise awareness of rail safety.
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