XCOM Media was appointed Mater Foundation’s digital agency in December 2008 with a brief to develop and implement a full digital strategy covering all aspects of its business online. One of the outcomes of the strategy project was the identification of the opportunity to integrate viral marketing into its marketing mix.

In May 2009 XCOM Media and the marketing team at the Mater Foundation worked together on developing the concept for their first viral marketing campaign.

Campaign: Mater Lotteries ‘Change Lives’
Client: Mater Foundation
Agency: XCOM Media


The Mater Foundation had not gone to market with a viral campaign prior to the ‘Change Lives’ campaign. In doing so, there was an element of educating the client about the processes of delivering a viral campaign and working with their internal stakeholders to help them understand the opportunity, and for them to feel comfortable that the campaign would deliver a positive message to the audience and represent their brand the way they require.

The other primary challenge was the relatively small campaign budget. The campaign team wanted to take a campaign to market that would bring attention to the Mater Foundation’s brand and generate a level of interest within the audience that would facilitate content sharing and the viral effect.


XCOM worked with Mater Foundation to explore the partnership opportunities that could be leveraged to assist in the delivery and marketing of the campaign.
Based on the strong campaign concept, it was strategised that the campaign would meet the KPIs set and therefore invested in bringing it to life.

The Brisbane Lions, a long-term supporter of the Mater Foundation, was identified as the perfect partner and was approached with a brief of the campaign and a request for the required assistance and it did not disappoint.

The Brisbane Lions provided the campaign with a number of key components:

  • ‘at game’ charity partner rights for a game that was played on 6 June 2009
  • access to Michael Voss to film video content
  • marketing of the campaign to its member email database, and
  • prizes including a signed team jersey, a corporate box and attendance at a Lions training session to meet some of the players and the coaching staff, and receive a framed photo of the winner with the players.

These prize components were included along with to and from game limousine transfers, flights and premium accommodation.


The concept that was developed was coined ‘Change Lives’, which centred on the opportunity for the winner of the campaign to experience a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience by winning the ‘Ultimate Lions Experience’ and in the process supporting a charity that helps change the lives of sick people at the Mater Hospital.

It was decided that the campaign would be broken up into two phases:

  • at game – phase one, and
  • online – phase two.

The objective of phase one was to introduce attendees at the Brisbane Lions football game to a competition to win a signed Brisbane Lions jersey. Attendees entered the competition by SMSing their email address into the campaign mobile number at the game. The entry then triggered both a confirmation SMS message delivered to the entrant’s mobile phone and an email delivered to their email address giving them an entry into both the ‘at game’ prize and the major prize that was phase two of the campaign.

Campaign components included:

  • street teams (XCOM and Mater staff) handing out 15,000 fortune cookies at all entries to the Gabba on game day with the ‘call to action’ message inside the cookie inviting them to SMS their email address to 0448 CHANGE
  • inbound SMS competition entry mechanism – 0448 CHANGE
  • triggered SMS response to entrants ‘at game’
  • triggered email to entrants telling them about the major prize and informing them they had entry into the major draw and giving them bonus entry opportunities for forwarding to their friends
  • two-minute video of Michael Voss played on the Gabba scoreboard during the game
  • ‘at game’ announcer promoting the campaign at multiple stages throughout the game
  • on-screen (full screen) promotion of the campaign at multiple stages throughout the game
  • XCOM-built electronic competition drawing tool used to draw the ‘at game’ winner at a certain time of the game, and
  • winner announced at game on screen.

The objective of phase two of the competition was to drive traffic to the campaign m-site,, and convert visitors into one of the following four options:

  • enter the competition for a single entry only – not forwarding to friends
  • enter the competition and forward to friends to receive up to four entries (one entry for user’s own entry and up to three bonus entries for forwarding to their friends)
  • inform them of the benefits of becoming a Mater Lotteries VIP member, and
  • generate awareness of Mater Lotteries and the Mater Foundation.

Campaign components included:

  • an m-site
  • streaming video
  • email marketing campaign to Mater Lotteries’ existing subscribers
  • email marketing campaign to Brisbane Lions members (VIP and regular), and
  • social media activity through Facebook and Twitter.

The campaign prize was for two people for a three/four-day Lions experience, with flights from anywhere within Australia, accommodation in a premium hotel, attendance at a Lions training session in Brisbane, meeting the players and the coaching staff, a signed jersey, a framed photo with players, being wined and dined at the game in the Mater corporate box and limousine transfers to and from the game.

The m-site included a video of Michael Voss on the landing page promoting the competition and outlining the exclusivity involved in the Brisbane Lions ‘opening their doors’ to someone outside the Brisbane Lions organisation and the opportunity to be involved with an organisation such as the Mater Foundation.

Both the video and m-site used a combination of the ‘money can’t buy’ competition hook and emotive drive of the Mater Lotteries cause at key parts throughout Michael Voss’ address, with text overlay to reinforce key points and calls to action – to enter the competition for the major prize, learn about the VIP program, raise awareness about the Mater Foundation and share the opportunity with friends.

High-level campaign objectives included:

  • raise awareness of the Mater Foundation as a charity
  • raise awareness of the benefits of the VIP membership program
  • strengthen association with the Brisbane Lions
  • associate an exciting and exclusive prize that will be engaging to the audience
  • drive visitation to the redesigned Mater Prize Home website, and
  • generate sharing of content and viral activity through an email forward to friend mechanism and social media channels.

The campaign’s KPIs included acquiring:

  • 1000 SMS entries from the ‘at game’ competition
  • 1000 online entries through the campaign m-site
  • 2000 total competition entries into the major prize competition
  • 1000 forward to friend messages, and
  • 2000 new subscribers to the Mater Prize Home e-newsletter


The campaign was of a high quality, delivered on a tight budget and the results provided Mater Lotteries and the Mater Foundation with the confidence to undertake more integrated online campaigns in the future:

  • 1364 ‘at game’ SMS entries
  • 1265 online entries through the m-site
  • 1729 forward to friend messages
  • 2629 total competition entries, and
  • 2418 new subscribers to the Mater Prize Home enewsletter.