Compared to previous generations, research shows that younger generations are deeply committed to inclusivity and social impact, with new insights showing that helping others is the number one priority for 12-to-15-year-olds in the US, and over 60% saying they “want everyone to be treated the same.”
Comic Relief US, a nonprofit organization committed to breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty, is best known for its iconic Red Nose Day campaign. But, looking to tap into the motivations and trends of these younger audiences – influencing a new generation of philanthropists – the brand set out to create a tailored digital experience that would activate this passion for social impact. The goal was to create authentic opportunities to engage with these next-generation audiences while raising funds alongside young people to help fight poverty and address the most pressing needs - like education, health, and inclusion.
As Alison Moore, the organization’s CEO said, “Younger audiences are more than just another audience segment . They’re the ultimate creators, driving what’s taking off online and transforming the social media landscape.” Comic Relief US met these challenges with a new campaign that would tap younger audiences' hope and creativity for good: Kids Relief.
To inspire new audiences, Comic Relief US launched one of its boldest campaigns yet: Kids Relief, a campaign by kids, for kids. Kids Relief’s launch was built around Kids Relief Presents: Solarpunk Simulator, an experience on the social gaming platform Roblox, and supported by a virtual concert from singer, songwriter, and TikTok Sensation BoyWithUke. Solarpunk Simulator was one of the first ever standalone charitable worlds on Roblox, which reaches Generation Alpha and Generation Z audiences and has over 52 million daily users — half under age 13.
Kids Relief supports young people’s ability to drive change in their lives and their communities. It raises funds across multiple digital platforms, via live stream fundraisers with content creators, branded in-experience activations, and native transactions enabling youths to support Kids Relief by participating in the experience. Funds raised support programs and initiatives that break the cycle of poverty by fostering empowerment, leadership, access to education, and economic growth opportunities for young people.
The campaign is designed to give young people the chance to make a difference by rallying their peers, influencers and artists, and engaging them where they are - and on platforms they love - like Roblox.
Kids Relief Presents: Solarpunk Simulator, is set in a 3D future world where nature, technology, and people live in harmony. Users learn the power of collaboration, working for the collective good as they meet visitors from another planet and help build a spaceship that takes them on a galactic adventure. As users progress through the experience, they meet some of their favorite celebrities and influencers, like Jack Black who plays the spaceship captain, helping users on their quest.
Launched in late March, users were then able to join the virtual and interactive concert event featuring BoyWithUke, who has amassed over 7 million followers on TikTok with his hit song “Toxic” and minute-long song series.
The experience also includes a store where users can get power-ups for themselves or everyone in-experience – coveted “v-erchandise” to give their avatars one-of-a-kind looks, and tools that provide special abilities. It also features an in-game fundraising competition between Roblox influencers, Kreekcraft, Digito and iBella. The platform was also supported by YouTube content from participating influencers, including a Kreekcraft live stream with Rick Astley.
Kids Relief and Solarpunk Simulator has been a runaway hit, reflecting positive feedback from young people and audience engagement in unprecedented numbers.
To date, the game has had over 5.5 million total plays with an average 10 minutes of play in a session. This equates to over 55 million minutes played to date. The BoywithUke’s concert brought in over 2.7 million viewers in just 48 hours, and earned the highest Roblox “concert thumbs up rating” ever at 94.6%. Concert attendance exceeded that of other concerts featured on Roblox including Elton John, The Chainsmokers and Camilo Cabella.
The game continues to draw coverage in gaming media, mainstream media and online, inside TikTok and other youth-focused platforms.
“Think about everything kids have been through the last few years – so many challenges,” CEO Alison Moore said. “Kids Relief supports young people’s ability to drive change. It’s a single-minded recognition that young people have a deeper understanding that they have the power to make change, to gather across platforms and to act.”