News & Views

Dairygold / Make a Minute

by Contagious I/O

This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O, our intelligence tool featuring the most creative and effective ideas in marketing from around the world 

Irish FMCG brand builds micro-volunteering platform


Butter brand Dairygold has created a micro-volunteering platform that allows time-starved people to volunteer by the minute. The idea is that a large number of people donating a small amount of time can complete a big project.

The Irish FMCG brand has long positioned itself as something that saves people time, because it can be spread on toast right after it’s removed from the fridge – unlike regular butter which takes a minute or two to soften up.

This micro-volunteering platform is a follow up to Dairygold’s Make a Minute campaign, which launched last year. That campaign encouraged consumers to use the extra minute Dairygold gives them to do something that matters to them. Now, the micro-volunteering platform allows them to donate that minute of time to someone else.

Butter app

Dairygold partnered with six charities in the development of the platform: Be My Eyes, The Cheetah Conservation Fund, Count Flowers for Bees, Meitheal, Crowdcrafting and Post Pals. As a result, volunteers can spend a minute doing a variety of tasks, such as saving Namibia’s cheetahs by identifying different animals in photographs or helping preserve Irish history by transcribing stories.


The Make a Minute micro-volunteering platform was created by agency Rothco in Dublin and can be accessed through the brand’s website.


Brand building / In their paper, The Long and Short of it, Peter Field and Les Binet say: ‘A succession of short-term response campaigns will not achieve the same level of business success over the long term as a campaign designed with year-on-year improvement in mind.’

They define the optimum mix as a 60:40 budget split between brand-building activity and one-off sales activities. This, Field and Binet believe, is the best way to achieve ‘maximum efficiency’ and ‘maximum effectiveness’. Dairygold has followed this suggested route by first building a strong brand image and then rooting this micro-volunteering activation in its overall positioning strategy.

‘Dairygold has been positioning its brand as one that could give people a minute for the good stuff,’ Alan Kelly, ECD at Rothco, explained in a statement. ‘However, understanding that its audience may not always have the time to dedicate to charity work under the traditional structure of volunteering, we looked at how we could make a big difference by taking just a minute of people’s time.’ The brand’s previous campaign asked consumers what they’d do with an extra minute – so this is a logical next step.

Problem solver / Volunteering is something many people want to do, but can’t get around to. As Kelly said: ‘Volunteering in Ireland is suffering from the 666 rule: 60% of volunteers are over 60 and spend over 6 hours every week volunteering. Micro-volunteering is a completely different model that intends to change this.’

This problem is not unique to Ireland. Amy Yotopoulos, director of the mind division at Stanford University’s Center on Longevity, wrote in a blog post that while research shows that ‘over 90% of us want to volunteer, only 1 out of 4 Americans actually do’. And the biggest reason for this, she says, is ‘lack of free time’. Dairygold’s micro-volunteering platform tackles this issue head on by giving people (of all ages) a way to volunteer while sitting on the bus on their way home or while waiting in line to get their lunch.

Encouraging interaction / The micro-volunteering platform has a very low barrier to entry – you just have to go to the Dairygold website to access it. This is good for the charities, because it means that anyone interested could easily donate a minute of their time to help out. But it also works in Dairygold’s favour as every minute a consumer spends micro-volunteering is essentially a minute spent with the brand.