Oxfam Offers This Season's 'It' Gift

Proximity Chicago Turns Philanthropy Into High-Fashion Fun

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Looking to make philanthropy fun, Oxfam America is offering the Oxfam Collection as this holiday season's "it" gift. The campaign from Proximity Chicago positions the collection as a high-fashion offering, complete with a designer and behind-the-scenes footage.

The effort focuses on fictional fashion designer "The Hidalgo," played by comedian Chris Wylde, who's presenting the couture of the future, the Oxfam Collection. It was shot by fashion photographer Pier Nicola D'Amico and includes appearances by celebrities Minnie Driver and Scarlett Johansson, both longtime Oxfam supporters.

The Oxfam Collection, available at oxfamgifts.com, features such "high-fashion" gifts from The Hidalgo as goats, alpaca meadows, chicks and sheep. People can buy these gifts, with a card sent to the person being gifted and the actual purchase going to people in need.

"OxfamGifts.com transforms serious gift-giving into something that is fun and fashionable," said Stephanie Kurzina, VP-development & communications, Oxfam America, in a statement. "People want to give gifts that do good. This is a light-hearted take on gifts that make a difference that will actually turn heads and get people laughing."

The idea for the effort came from Proximity Chicago, which wanted to give the campaign a sense of fun and frivolity to draw attention to Oxfam, an international relief and development organization. "We've tried to be tongue-in-cheek with this campaign," says Proximity Managing Director Andrew Kasprzycki. "The audience is pretty sophisticated—they're going to get the joke [of] the anti-frivolous gift, but giving it all the frivolous tendencies.

"If you're really going to make Oxfam Unwrapped the 'it' gift for 2010, at some point you have to go to a designer," Kasprzycki says. "Let's be true to the brand story that you're trying to tell. You're going to have to have behind-the-scenes footage from the photo shoot. We wanted to bring that story to life. We're trying to give [the audience] a story to help them see how this is a different kind of gift that would help them do good."

The campaign, which runs through this month, includes a series of online videos as well as print, outdoor boards, other online components such as Facebook and Twitter and a blogger outreach program.

"The response has been great" Kasprzycki says. "What we're hearing is that their website traffic in just the first week was up 60% [over last year].

"It's a tough time for gift giving, especially this kind of gift giving," he adds. "What we've tried to do is create a holistic idea. This is not a digital idea, it's not a TV idea. It's just a good, holistic, creative idea."