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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 shows how MS Limited Australia, an Australian charity organisation, successfully raised awareness about Multiple Sclerosis (MS) by designing a bicycle laden with the disease's symptoms.

Case Study

This case study explains how UNICEF, the international non-governmental organisation dedicated to helping children, grew awareness of gender selection in developing countries with emotional ads and increased donations in Switzerland.

Case Study

This case study shows how Headspace, a meditation app, successfully launched an app that helped children understand the power of emotional bullying when texting, in Australia.

Case Study

This case study explains how the UK's NHS Blood and Transplant service recruited 17-24 year olds during National Blood Week by working with partners in TV, radio, digital, print and online to create a sense of urgency.

Case Study

This case study explains how Refugees Welcome, a German charity which advocates for refugees, used pre-roll YouTube ads and PR to help change opinions about refugees and generate donations.

Case Study

This case study shows how the Natalia Ponce de Leon Foundation, a non-profit organisation, successfully pushed for governmental change towards the prosecution of acid attacks perpetrators, by developing a social awareness campaign in Colombia.
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This article considers how the long-term effects of public sector marketing can effectively be multiplied through the use of key partnerships with the stakeholders themselves, as they hold crucial knowledge of the subject matter, as well as through endorsement.


This article offers principles that can help advertisers communicate difficult topics - where deeply entrenched beliefs are hard to overcome and shock tactics and a preachy tone prove counterproductive - and shift the narrative direction towards real change.


This article introduces a series of articles on marketing public services and creating awareness of a diverse list of issues, including for growing subsectors such as charities.

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).

Research Paper

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.
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  1. Article

    The Truth Initiative strives to protect a new generation of youths who are prime prospects for the tobacco industry, by engaging that audience and reigniting their interest.
  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  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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