Case Study

Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS)

RFDS Flying Doctor Day

Flying Doctor Day is the Royal Flying Doctor Service WA’s (RFDS) major annual fundraising campaign.

Landing on May 17, the anniversary of the first RFDS flight in Australia, the campaign plays a significant role in raising the vital funds needed to keep RFDS in the sky.

For much of the pandemic, WA’s border had been locked shut, resulting in the State being insulated from the disruptive effects of COVID-19. But with the doors now open in the months leading up to Flying Doctor Day, COVID-19 cases were growing quickly – with the peak predicted to land on Flying Doctor Day itself.

The challenge

Purple’s priority throughout the campaign was to ensure RFDS doctors, nurses, pilots and crews who play an essential role in ensuring the health of the State were not exposed as a result of the campaign. This meant in-person events, corporate functions and school engagements had to be spiked.

With an eye on the future, the 2022 Flying Doctor Day campaign also needed to boost engagement among a younger demographic to build affinity among future donors.

Our approach

We developed a digital-first campaign, creating meaningful, emotional connections through the screen by giving people a reason beyond just a day to donate. We focused on creating a donation goal to raise enough funds to fill an entire RFDS plane with the critical equipment required to complete a life-saving mission.

We did this by sharing life aboard one of RFDS’ flying hospitals in the sky for pilots and medical staff, including a hero piece of content – a much anticipated, never before seen video of the inside of a flying hospital, an RFDS PC-12 aircraft – with interviews with the General Manager of Aviation and a nurse from RFDS.

Purple also launched RFDS’ debut influencer engagement plan. These influencers were specifically chosen to align closely with the brand and provided pro-bono support. Purple also developed RFDS’ own social media campaign, school and community packs and other campaign launch materials, building momentum before the day, on the day and after the day.

The results

In 2022, Flying Doctor Day comprehensively beat the original goals for both fundraising outcomes and reach outcomes. RFDS raised $820,778 towards Flying Doctor Day, with a 43.9% increase on online donations from 2021. The average online donation was an impressive $200, with a 60.3% increase in online champions (companies and groups raising money as a collective).

The influencer engagement plan also far exceeded expectations, with 67 unique pieces of content shared by 13 social media influencers, all including RFDS messaging and linking back to the RFDS donation page. This collective effort from WA-based influencers had a potential reach of 93.6 million people.

Overall, the social media campaign resulted in a 191% increase in the exposure of RFDS posts, a 237.8% rise in new likes and followers on RFDS channels, and a 391% lift in visits to these channels.

“It’s always been a pleasure to work with the Purple team. They took on the brief in a short amount of time for the Flying Doctor Day campaign and delivered on all the objectives we set together.”

Rebecca Maddern - Head of Community, Royal Flying Doctor Service WA

Keys to success

Digital-first strategy

Multi-channel digital campaign

Influencer engagement

Specifically chosen to align closely with the brand

Video story telling

Behind the scenes footage onboard an RFDS aircraft

Jo Monery


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Glenn Langridge

Glenn Langridge

Director, Digital

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Michael Cairnduff

Michael Cairnduff

Director, Government Relations

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Cameron Wong

Cameron Wong

Associate Director

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Adam Elovalis

Adam Elovalis

Art Director

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Hayley Emmett

Design Manager

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Declan Evans

Account Manager

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Maddi Murray

Senior Design Consultant

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