Type to search

The Biggest Aussie Pie Night – helping Challenge support kids with cancer


The Biggest Aussie Pie Night – helping Challenge support kids with cancer



Client: Challenge – supporting kids with cancer
Campaign: The Biggest Aussie Pie Night
Marketer: Sam McOrist, marketing and strategic development manager, Challenge


Challenge is a major provider of daily support services to children with cancer and their families. As we receive no government funding we rely solely on the support of our generous sponsors and the general public to continue our work.

As the not for profit sector in Australia continues to become cluttered and fragmented, it is increasingly difficult for social marketers to find powerful ways to break through the noise and connect with donors.

To this end we are continually looking for innovative and cost effective ways to raise money and spread awareness for our programs.


To create an annual national fundraising campaign that would break through the clutter and resonate with all Australians.


We started off by looking for emotional gateways that already exist in our Australian culture. Our cultural values and Icons make the perfect leverage point to not only open people’s hearts and minds but potentially lift their spirit and generate support.

With very little budget, we really needed to tap into these existing platforms to create an event that would inspire sponsors and the Australian public to advocate the Challenge brand and raise funds.

Before doing this we had to look at what unique Australian values embodied the programs and services offered by Challenge.

Giving little Aussie battlers a go!

By aligning Challenge with the uniquely Australian concept of a “Fair Go” donors and supporters have a deeper understanding of our brand promise with little or no additional information.

Football and meat pies

Having a pie night is a fundraising tradition deeply imbedded into Australian grass roots sporting clubs. The memory of giving a couple of bucks for a pie after training, are as much a part of growing up, as the sport itself.

For us, the pie night created the perfect link to develop a campaign that would appeal to Australia’s passion for sport, meat pies and giving little Aussie battlers a fair go!


The Biggest Aussie Pie Night™

During August pubs, sporting clubs, businesses, friends & family are encouraged set aside one night or day to bring members, colleagues, friends & family together to eat pies and raise money for Challenge.

The Biggest Aussie Pie Night website

Not only has the campaign created a great way for the public to connect to Challenge, but it has also allowed iconic Australian brands such as Four N’ Twenty (Principle sponsor), the MCG, Sherrin Kangaroo Brand, Collingwood FC, Triple M Football, the Herald Sun, Connex and NAB to get involved.

The resulting output from this support included the following:

• Radio CSA’s and promotional pointers on Triple M Football
• MCG / Collingwood FC pie night including POS, Big Screen advertising, Strauchnie call to action, volunteer collections and a $1 donation from every Four N Twenty pie sold
• Footy Record advertising
• Herald Sun print campaign and online support
• Posters throughout the Connex metropolitan network
• Direct mail piece through AFL VIC, Challenge, Auskick
• Web support from Collingwood FC, Triple M, AFL VIC, Four N’ Twenty
• Sherrin footballs for every pie night host
• Extensive editorial in local and metro publications

All the print advertising, web design and collateral for the campaign were produced by the fabulous team at Advertising Australia whose unique work captured the spirit of the campaign consistently throughout all mediums.

Getting on the bus

In 2008 the modern day remake of the classic 1960’s Four N’ Twenty bus advertisement was the perfect vehicle (pardon the pun) to not only gain media support but also create some great publicity and below the line, viral activity.

For a campaign that had no advertising budget, this was truly an amazing contribution of effort from the production team who donated their services and the 13 legends of the game who gave up their time to be a part of remaking history.

For 25 years Challenge has been working with AFL players through various initiatives to brighten the lives of sick children and when this opportunity was presented some of the games biggest names donated their time to re create history in support of our work.

Featuring the likes of Billy Brownless, Garry Lyon, Tim Watson, Danny Frawley, Brad Johnson, Nathan Buckley, Jason Dunstall and more, some examples of where the CSA appeared are:

  • The Footy Show
  • Before the game
  • AFL Broadcasts
  • Network news
  • The Sunday Footy Show
  • All major networks across Australia in good rotation
  • Youtube
  • www.biggestaussiepienight.com
  • Triple M Football website
  • Collingwood FC website


In an exciting 2008 campaign we achieved:

  • A 260% increase in participation from 2007
  • 18000 people attending almost 300 pie nights
  • Participation in every state
  • Over 1900 views on Youtube
  • Over 4,500 visits to the campaign website throughout August
  • Increased national brand awareness
  • Amazing media and sponsor support
  • Principle sponsor Four N’ Twenty contributing over $70,000 to the campaign through various company initiatives and nomination as their official charity partner in an ongoing agreement.

You Might also Like

Leave a Comment