Using social media for good: Inside Beko and Barcelona’s €1m Unicef fundraising campaign

Zeynep Yalım Uzun, chief marketing officer at Arçelik, Beko’s parent company, discusses the Turkish electronics company’s #EatLikeAPro campaign, and explains how it utilised its partnership with Spanish soccer champions Barcelona to ensure the initiative was a success.

Using social media for good: Inside Beko and Barcelona’s €1m Unicef fundraising campaign

Earlier this year, Turkish electronics giant Beko extended and expanded its premium partnership with Spanish soccer champions Barcelona, prolonging a longstanding relationship that dates back to 2014.

Aside from being the La Liga club’s sleeve sponsor, Beko also set out with the ambitious aim of using the tie-up to raise €1 million (US$1.21 million) for children’s charity Unicef through #EatLikeAPro, a global social media campaign geared towards raising awareness and funds to alleviate childhood obesity. For every social media post using the campaign’s hashtag, Beko donated €1 (US$1.21) to Unicef.

Ahead of her The Brand Conference appearance at Lord’s Cricket Ground on 26th and 27th September, Zeynep Yalım Uzun (below right), chief marketing officer at Arçelik, Beko’s parent company, explains why the Eat Like a Pro campaign was such a success, and outlines how the company utilised its partnership with Barcelona’s to reach as many people around the world as possible. 

Do you think Eat Like a Pro is a campaign that would have worked 20 years ago? If not, what has changed to make it viable?

Much of the success of the campaign is down to social media, which has really taken off in recent years. Overall, we reached 167 countries and 406 cities, with an approximate reach of 741 million, and this was down to awareness generated across social media platforms through use of #EatLikeAPro.

The growth of social media in the last few years has been huge and channels such as Twitter and Instagram provide a powerful canvas for generating awareness amongst core audiences. In the case of Eat Like a Pro (ELAP), these channels allowed for a clear call to action to facilitate donations to Unicef and this was fundamental to reaching our fundraising targets.

We also had the support of our core campaign partners, Unicef and FC Barcelona, both of which have a vast following. Through Barcelona in particular, we were able to make use of world renowned sporting heroes to generate mass awareness during El Clasico, the most watched domestic club match in the world.

I think it’s also important to note that we are seeing a growing demand for campaigns with purpose. Consumers want to see their personal values reflected in the brands that they choose and now, more than ever, people are remaining loyal and supportive of purpose-led businesses. We recognise this behaviour in our customers which is why we believe it is the right time to share our purpose with the world and show how we, as a company, are committed to driving positive societal change.

What do athletes, and specifically Barcelona stars, bring to a campaign like ‘Eat Like a Pro’?

Athletes are often considered modern day heroes and we know that there are children across the world who aspire to be like their favourite Barcelona stars, many of which are parents, so we feel the team is the perfect partner to help raise awareness and inspire children across the globe to follow a healthy, active lifestyle. Just like they do.


A post shared by Beko (@beko) on

What is the aim for a brand in a partnership like this?

Our objective is simple: to help prevent childhood obesity through raising awareness and driving education. We reached our initial goal to raise €1,000,000 for Unicef and that money will be used to implement a programme designed to improve the eating habits of 600,000 primary school-age children in Latin America. The initiative is designed to provide the necessary education and support about the importance of healthy eating at home and in schools for children’s healthy growth and development.

But our dedication doesn’t stop there. We will be continuing our commitment to the cause in partnership with Unicef and Barcelona throughout the remainder of 2018 and beyond.

What kind of innovative activations can you leverage in this kind of campaign?

Social media proved an extremely powerful tool for us. We initiated a worldwide movement, with the help of Barcelona, across Twitter and Instagram using the dedicated hashtag, #EatLikeAPro, to raise money for the cause.

During El Clasico, Beko gave up its logo on the players’ shirts, trading it for the campaign hashtag and encouraging supporters from around the world to post about their own healthy eating habits. 

For every Twitter and Instagram post shared using #EatLikeAPro, 1 euro was donated to Unicef. Thanks to mass engagement from core audiences around the world, we met the €1,000,000 in just ten days.

What have you learned from ‘Eat Like a Pro’ to take forward in the partnership?

Uniting with two powerful partners, who share the same vision and values, has proved invaluable to the campaign. We intend to continue to work collaboratively and innovatively with both Barcelona and Unicef to drive awareness and change to help tackle the global issue of childhood obesity.