How Fairtrade Harnessed the Power of YouTube to Spread their Message

How Fairtrade Harnessed the Power of YouTube to Spread their Message

In 2021, Fairtrade produced a 15-minute documentary highlighting the impact of living income on a group of farmers and their families in Ghana. Part of a series of collaborative projects with the German supermarket chain Rewe and entitled Impact Diaries, the film showcases the daily lives and routines of Fairtrade cocoa farmers Mina Antiwaa, Bismark Domena and George Ansah. Shot via handheld footage, it was hosted by the actress Emilia Schüle and footballer Neven Subotić. We were excited to team up with Fairtrade to promote this insightful and important piece of content.


  1. Reach the desired audience for their documentary The Impact Diaries
  2. Reach 200,000 views of the documentary on YouTube
  3. Find out how the audience responded to the ad. Did they like it? How did it impact how they feel about the Fairtrade brand?


    1. We analysed with which platforms we could reach the audience Fairtrade had stipulated and how to address them.
    2. We then decided upon a goal with Fairtrade: 200,000 total video views on YouTube.
    3. Our online marketing team ran campaigns on five different digital platforms: YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, plus influencer marketing. YouTube was the main campaign. We carried out all the media buying and booking for each channel.
    4. After a month, we had hit our goal three-fold, generating 770,000 view views so we extended the campaign for another two weeks.
    5. To wrap up the campaign, our Insights team carried out a market research survey, with 74% of respondents saying they loved the campaign.

Why did they come to DCMN? It was because of DCMN’s growth marketing and multi-channel digital expertise. We began by looking at the target audience and discussing how best we could reach them. Young digital natives where can we find them? The answer inevitably involved online video, specifically YouTube.

We decided on YouTube as the main channel as it’s the most user-friendly way to watch video (and be able to track views) in comparison to the Fairtrade website where users have to scroll down to see the video. And as for KPIs, with all that in mind we decided on a goal of 200,000 video views as our main metric for campaign success. In addition we planned and booked a social media campaign across Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest, as well as an influencer campaign. For all, we utilised A/B testing and different campaign setups tailored to the channel.

The great results were also due to our creation of different ad groups based on relevant keywords and appropriate audiences based on Fairtrade personas.

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What were the main challenges? We ran a campaign on five different channels with five different managers to ensure they were all performing correctly, however at some point this made a holistic analysis more difficult. So, once they had all hit a good performance baseline we merged them together with one online marketing manager, to create one contact point with the client and clearer communication lines.

In terms of campaign tactics and setup, we set the YouTube campaign algorithm objective to product and brand consideration combined with a maximum CPV bidding strategy. We then tested several bid amounts in order to achieve a balance between the lowest possible bid and the highest amount of video views per day. The great results were also due to our creation of different ad groups based on relevant keywords and appropriate audiences based on Fairtrade personas. The results speak for themselves: 770,000 video views in only one month and also a great completion rate of 7.76%, a high number for a video of 15 minutes.

We did a campaign recall analysis with our Insights team and 74% responded that they liked or liked a lot the campaign.

In August, we switched to our Insights team, who carried out an online panel market research study. The aim was to measure the memorability of the campaign as well as awareness of the Fairtrade brand itself. And again we saw great results with high rates of campaign recall: 37% of respondents remembered having seen an ad related to Fairtrade, and 29% remembered having seen the Impact Diaries ad compared to the DCMN benchmark of 17% for other social media-focused campaigns. And one more while we’re here: 74% responded that they liked or liked a lot the campaign. The cherry on the cake, indeed.

This was an example of a campaign which hit both brand and performance KPIs on the head: we exceeded our key performance goal of video views, and our study proved viewers found the film memorable and/or likeable. We were proud to help create awareness for an important cause and help Fairtrade find the right audiences for their future campaigns too. An unqualified success story it was!


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