The phrase “finding a cure for cancer” normally conjures up images of laboratories of scientists in white coats. By contrast, this is a story about mobilising 35,000 ordinary New Zealanders to contribute to ongoing research efforts by donating the processing power of their mobile phones.
Vodafone achieved this significant behaviour change by motivating New Zealanders to simply download an app once, activate it and sleep – encouraging Kiwis to say goodnight to cancer.
There were a few obstacles to overcome: a cluttered cancer fundraising market, the majority of customers downloading on average less than one app per month, and privacy concerns around access to data were mounting.
The solution needed to overcome these challenges to influence the behaviour Vodafone was looking for.
The campaign for a National Sleep In, encouraged New Zealanders to download the DreamLab app, go to sleep and then sleep for longer to allow their mobile phones to contribute as much processing power as possible to the Garvan Institute of Medical Research.
Vodafone knew that every night millions of their customers’ smart phones sat idle on bedside tables. The processing power they use to drive apps, calls and searches during the day went unused. The DreamLab app had the capability to harness the power of these devices to build a virtual super computer that could crunch big numbers and make a dent in the search for a cure.
There was one simple objective: achieve 10,000 downloads in the first three weeks. The campaign smashed its download target, even before the Sleep In had begun. By three weeks in, over 35,000 downloads had taken place. The download success was propelled by strong engagement. New Zealanders didn’t just install the app – they actively used it.