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Campaign: The Swedish Red Cross has teamed up with Swedavia (the national airport operator) to raise money by using arcade machines as playable collection boxes.

The retro arcade games (Ms. Pacman, Space Invaders and Galaga) accept all foreign currencies, and can be played at both Stockholm and Gothenburg airports, with the money going straight to the charity.

Contagious, FleishmanHillard’s Sean Dallaskidd Weigh In

Contagious: Let’s face it, waiting for your luggage at the airport is a pretty boring part of the journey. These games are perfectly placed to take advantage of a captive audience, filling dead time with an enjoyable (not to mention virtuous) experience.

The practice of donating your unused foreign money is well established, with many airlines and airports having collection points or donation envelopes onboard the flight. It’s a win for the user, who can get rid of the pesky foreign change that they’re unlikely to ever use, and it also drives donations to the charity. But by making the experience more engaging and interesting (rather than functional), the Red Cross ensures that donating doesn’t get forgotten in the rush to get to baggage claim.

Dallaskidd: Thinking outside of the charity box, the Swedish Red Cross identified a fantastic moment to target during a traveler’s journey. No matter how long the trip, baggage claim is the great equalizer. It is a transitional moment for passengers, both physical and mental. A traveler may be about to begin a relaxing beachfront vacation, returning from a business trip or in the middle of a life-changing journey. No matter the case, at baggage claim we are all transitioning. At this point in a trip, we all find ourselves in a sort of “gray area” state of mind, primed for influence.

What the Swedish Red Cross did was find a very clever way to take advantage of that moment and insert itself into it in a fun and unexpected way. By leveraging these iconic retro games, the organization could appeal to a much larger demographic. And by illuminating the boxes in a calming blue, they become road stops and act as beacons of rejuvenation along the traveler’s journey.

The creative execution turned what is typically another piece of the background noise surrounding us into something more. It called attention to itself in a welcomed way, by surprising travelers with an opportunity to unwind in a form they did not expect. The added bonus of realizing that playing the game was a direct donation to the Swedish Red Cross truly brings a sense of delight to the traveler’s experience. It seems to me that the Swedish Red Cross has helped push the approach to charity donations in the right direction – donations with instant benefits.

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About the author

This article was syndicated from Contagious Feed, an indispensable resource to the marketing communications industry focusing on competitive intelligence, best practices, new technology and consumer behavior. In addition to the flagship quarterly publication, app and Feed, Contagious has developed a consultancy and a series of world-class conferences, including its annual Most Contagious event.

Sean Dallaskidd provides expertise in developing creative solutions for clients from diverse industries. His experience includes work in advertising, publication design and interactive, as well as developing print, packaging, video and front-end apps. Among his previous roles, Dallaskidd worked for Discovery Communications, developing campaigns for Investigation Discovery, and contributed to other networks such as Velocity and the Military Channel.