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CARE Case Studies

A person looks at a CARE Facebook ad.

Since CARE began experimenting with social media as an SBCC modality, a lot has been learned.

Some campaigns performed exceptionally well, some failed to drive lift, some were negatively impacted by environmental events such as elections, and some established two-way communications between CARE and the audience. In this section, we’ll share case studies of a few memorable campaigns.


CARE Iraq: Exceeding Expectations

With ever-changing social media trends and interests, it can be difficult to connect with large audiences and shape their opinions. Despite these obstacles, some campaigns exceed all expectations. Thoughtful campaign plans lead to well-planned creatives, messaging, and audience targeting. That was the case with CARE Iraq’s July 2022 campaign designed to boost COVID vaccine and booster confidence and preventive practices. Built with purposeful intent, the ads drew an exceptional level of engagement among viewers. A total of 1.6 million people interacted with the campaign’s social posts through likes, comments, and shares, driving an engagement rate of 10.2%.

The country office built on previous learnings that trusted messengers performed well. Four out of CARE Iraq’s five video ads featured real, relatable people: a chef, taxi driver, teacher, and doctor. Featuring people from different walks of life created a sense of relatability and connection for the audience. The video featuring the chef reached 23 million views and the video with the taxi driver generated a very high click-through rate of 0.42%, double the expected platform benchmark of 0.20%.

CARE Iraq Communications Officer Huda Ali, who spearheaded campaign design, said, “The most important thing is for people to know that they are not being ordered to do this or being told this is the right way.” Instead, the purpose is for people to see regular members of their community experience a sense of normalcy and safety after having received the vaccine or booster.

Read more about CARE Iraq’s campaign

CARE Czech Republic: The Power of Precise Timing

There are times when campaign performance and impact can be diminished by unforeseen external factors. CARE experienced this firsthand in the Czech Republic, where a campaign to reduce COVID vaccine hesitancy was drowned out by more popular discussions online surrounding upcoming national elections.

The second round of the CARE Czech Republic’s campaign, using the government’s successful trusted messenger approach, was carefully planned and launched in August 2021. At this time, people in the Czech Republic were enjoying a peaceful summer with almost no COVID-related restrictions, let alone lockdowns. Moreover, with important national elections coming up, the media was suddenly full of political campaigning focused on topics unrelated to COVID, leaving the pandemic all but forgotten.

Unfortunately, it was at that very moment that CARE Czech Republic’s trusted messenger campaign was launched and delivered to people who felt like the problems mentioned in the ads were already in the past. Therefore, the relative power of the messages and the final impact of the campaign were affected. While the campaign technically performed well based on brand lift study findings, the national context and external impact strongly affected the campaign results, and it showcased the power of precise timing.

Read more about CARE Czech Republic’s campaign

CARE Ecuador: Challenges in Changing Attitudes When Awareness is High

Each campaign yields lessons learned, especially when the results achieved don’t quite meet the target. At the end of 2022, CARE Ecuador ran a six-week campaign addressing gender-based violence experienced by domestic workers. The campaign reached 4.2 million people in affluent and non-affluent regions of the country. The campaign was followed up with a brand lift study (BLS) that asked people exposed and not exposed to the ads:

  1. How interested would you be in volunteering to support paid domestic workers experiencing violence?
  2. How important do you think it is to protect the rights of paid domestic workers in Ecuador?
  3. How much do you agree with this statement, “Gender violence against paid domestic workers is a problem in Ecuador”?

While CARE Ecuador saw a significant shift in people’s willingness to volunteer, the other questions asked during the BLS did not result in significant lift among those who had seen the ads.

Post-campaign research showed that lack of significant results may be due to pre-existing, high-baseline beliefs. BLS data showed that the control group (those who did not see the ads) already believed in the desired answers. For example, over 90% of the control group, who were not exposed to the ad, responded with a desired answer for the second question. These high baselines, while surprising, are corroborated in findings from a separate survey conducted by Meta in partnership with CARE and others. Because the importance of protecting the rights of paid domestic workers was already a belief of 90% of the population, achieving a lift was much harder than it might have been if far fewer people already believed that.

Post-campaign stats also showed that the baseline among men was lower than that of women, indicating that CARE Ecuador should reconsider how they can better reach and communicate with their male audiences specifically. This case study shows how important pre-existing baselines and beliefs can be in analyzing campaign effectiveness and informing future campaign design.

Read more about CARE Ecuador’s campaign

CARE Ghana: Driving Cross-Platform Engagement

An online SBCC campaign can be used alongside other SBCC modalities and/or on-the-ground programming to complement and boost performance and effectiveness. CARE Ghana decided to test a multi-faceted strategy by launching social media campaigns on a topic they already addressed through offline programming – improving the nutritional status of reproductive-age women and children under 2 years old in the central region of Ghana.

Experimenting with online SBCC campaigns, CARE Ghana’s ads encouraged the target audience to access the organization’s WhatsApp chatbot, which provided information on food and nutrition and answered FAQs. Of the 1.3 million people reached, 79% interacted with the ads and over 5,000 people initiated a WhatsApp conversation. Of those who tapped to start a chat, 35% initiated a conversation, exceeding the conversion goal by 35%.

CARE Ghana also observed high engagement rates, with 79% of people having watched the video or liked, commented on, or shared the post. This was +295% above the initial goal of 20%. Additionally, men ages 18-24 who saw the ads were 2.1 percentage points more likely to correctly identify the right nutritional food for children.

The communication and WhatsApp conversation metrics indicated that the campaign’s messaging resonated with the audience and led to purposeful engagement.

Read more about CARE Ghana’s campaign

Explore the Playbook

Previous chapter: Monitoring the Campaign

Learn CARE's tips on monitoring campaign performance to maximize effectiveness and measure impact.

Read chapter 4
Next chapter: Conclusion

Check out CARE's final reflections on experimenting with social media for behavior change and program impact.

Read the conclusion