Wearables have been all the rage recently and many organizations have tapped into the technology, making it easier for consumers to link physical activity to a good cause. Organizations like Charity Miles and collaborations such as Bank of America's work with (RED) and Nike have led the way in the space, getting adults active and excited about making an impact on issues they care about. Now, a new partnership is leveraging technology to inspire children to help others and themselves through the first-ever "wearable for good."
Target* and UNICEF joined together this month to announce the UNICEF Kid Power program. The program centers around a special activity tracker specifically for children, which encourages them to get active and rewards them by showing how their actions are making a difference in saving lives. The program draws a simple link: one-in-four American kids are inactive, while another one-in-four kids worldwide suffer from malnutrition. UNICEF Kid Power asks children to don the special wrist bands and get moving. As kids get active, they accumulate points via the UNICEF Kid Power App which are then converted into ready to use therapeutic food (RUTF) packets for severely malnourished children around the world. The program app also makes it easy for kids to connect with family and friends to cheer them on and to track progress and impact. To inspire kids to action, the program features virtual missions with celebrities and sports stars like David Ortiz, Tyson Chandler and Alex Morgan.
The UNICEF Kid Power Band is also surprisingly affordable at under $40, and available for pre-order on Target's website. In addition to the RUTF packet donations with each action, Target will donate $10 to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF for every band sold. And so far the program is working; Target reports that kids engaged with the UNICEF Kid Power program are 55 percent more active than their peers and already more than 188,000 RUTF packets have been unlocked**.
Although harnessing wearables for good is nothing new, Target and UNICEF are the first to integrate so many marketplace innovations into a single product. This program partnership leverages the best of technology, gamification, cause marketing and social impact measuring – all while striving to inspire behavior change and social consciousness.
**As of 10/22/15