My new Dutch colleague just introduced me to this. 3FM is a non-commercial radio station in Holland, and each year they collaborate with The Red Cross. For 6 days in the build up to Christmas, they run their Serious Request campaign, where the DJs live in a glass box for 6 days (144 hours) without food, and only special juice drinks to keep them going. They are on the air the whole time, and get some special guests to come and visit them – in 2008 Princess Maxima paid them a visit!
The event has been growing in size every year since it started in 2004, and now encourages initiatives from listeners, companies and celebrities each year. Bars raise money, companies organise sponsored walks, celebrities including Edwin van de Sar and Coldplay have put things into a celebrity auction etc.
Besides the fact that they are living in a glass box in the middle of the city (which changes each year and each year the event is in high demand), the show is broadcast live 24/7, it has it’s own website, mobile app, social media channels, 24/7 digital TV channel and daily updates on the other TV channels (similar to BBC Radio 1 updates on BBC1). One song is usually the theme of the whole event (think Public Enemy with the Paralympics) and the chosen song becomes a hit each year. Concerts are performed outside the glass house, and their only contact with people outside the box is through the radio, or a small postbox where people can post donations.
In 2012, Serious Request raised more than 12million for The Red Cross – an all time high. The event has been adopted in Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden, Kenya (blood not money) and South Korea.
The closest thing to this annual event was Chris Moyles’ Radio 1 Longest Broadcast for Red Nose Day, which ran for 52 hours. Less than half the time.
This video is an amazing piece of charity done across many different forms of media, executed annually with perfection! Right now my favourite blog post, so thank you Marcia!!