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January 2017

Best Charity Video 2016

The 5 best charity videos of 2016

The last 12 months have been a bit of a bumper year for charity video so we’ve put together our choice of the best ones we’ve watched.

They’re not necessarily the films that have the most views or have raised the most money but we think that they’re they represent some of most creative charity video that we’ve seen and they all have an impact that goes far beyond the usual.

We’ve seen wonderful charity films from Australia, America and the UK and from charities as varied as Prostate Cancer UK and Parkinson’s New South Wales. Have a watch and see if you’re as inspired as we are!

1. BEST STING IN THE TAIL: Parkinson’s New South Wales – The lucky ones

Genuinely surprising charity videos are a rarity but this film from Australian charity, Parkinson’s NSW made me sit up and watch. Simply made but with an ending that’s sure to shock this is a wonderful example of a charity video with impact.

This film actually made me exclaim on out loud when I watched it for the first time.  The film was directed by David Jagoda who’d undergone the same procedure 6 years ago. He’s also made a video about his experiences.

With a film as punchy as this it’s important to make sure it capitalises on the impact and reaches an audience. This film has been supported with a seeding campaign  on Facebook & Unruly and it also has  a microsite on with more video and an opportunity to donate. The PR campaign has also placed the protagonist Andy on Australian TV.

Made by We Are Content and directed by David Jagoda.

2. BEST STORYTELLING: The Prince’s Trust – It could have been different.

Beautiful visual storytelling and a clever use of split screen makes this film watchable and powerful.

I keep going back to this film and I keep showing it to colleagues: it’s a really simple premise that has a clean and clear payoff … so I won’t spoil it here. Very few charity films are bold enough to let the pictures do the talking and this film is a masterclass in using images to tell the story. Well worth a watch.

Made by CHI Partners and directed by Miles Jay.

3. FUNNIEST: Prostate Cancer UK – Time to grow up

Laugh out loud funny and very stylishly shot this film takes its direction from family sit-coms.

This video from Prostate Cancer UK takes the ‘birds and bees’ chat and turns it on its head: a switched on a very direct teenage son traps his dad into a father and son chat on the sofa. The laughs come from the son’s toe curling euphemisms for his dad’s ‘junk’ and what can go wrong with the ‘little soldier’. It gets even funnier when Dad’s friend Dave arrives. Funny and informative and cleverly avoids a lecture about a tricky subject.

Made by BBH and directed by James Rouse.

4. MOST OUTRAGEOUS VIDEO: Donate LIFE – The world’s biggest asshole

Charity video often plays it safe but here’s one that’s not afraid of risky humour to push home its message.  A laugh-out-loud funny charity video.

Casting  “World’s Biggest Asshole” in your film is not an obvious choice for a charity video but it may just help you connect with hard to reach audiences.  American charity Donate Life created the character of Coleman F Sweeney and let him loose to work his nasty magic.

This filmreally shows the benefit of making a funny charity video that really thinks about the audience its aimed at: within a few days it had over a million views, and now, having reached close to two million, this imaginative, brave film is really capturing the attention of its target audience and most surely qualifies to be the most outrageous video of 2016.

Created by The Martin Agency and directed by Furlined’s Speck and Gordon.

5. MOST TOUCHING VIDEO: Inspiring the future – What does a firefighter look like?

A great example of a simple story with a genuinely surprising reveal that leads to a very clear call to action.

Released around International Women’s day to raise awareness of how gender stereotyping is already at play in early childhood. Each child is asked to draw a picture of a  fire-fighter, surgeon and fighter pilot, then they’re asked to give them a name and say something about them. So we hear about fire-fighter Gary or Surgeon Jim-Bob and we learn about his ambulance or his plane.  Their surprise and wonderment when the real life fire-fighter, surgeon and fire-pilot are revealed to be women is captivating.

Made by MullenLowe

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Jeremy Jeffs is a founder partner at Magneto Films. Before that he spent 15 yearsdocumentary film maker  for BBC, Channel 4, National Geographic and PBS. He’s recently finished work on a history of China, with broadcaster Michael Wood and his films have been  shown at the London Film Festival, Sheffield International Documentary Festival and the V&A.

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Magneto Films is an award winning production company that specialises in working with brands, charities and the public sector. We specialise in telling real stories, working with casestudies and real people to make films that move people to action. More about Magneto Films

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