Stupid ad imagines donors look like dead bodies

Stupid ads

We find ourselves in the dreaded but entertaining fourth-quarter outbreak of nonprofit marketing stupidity. Marketing budgets must be spent, and the addled ad agencies that prey on nonprofits are more than willing to help us spend it with their strange attempts at spreading the word.

Here’s an ad (shockingly, part of a series) done for the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.

Let’s see if you can figure it out:

Mdgad

You probably made the same mistake I did, thinking this was some kind of macabre statement about breast cancer. It’s not; this isn’t a cadaver with a missing breast, even though that’s exactly what it looks like.

The dumb-founding copy doesn’t really make it any more clear:

To beat poverty, we need something loud and strong.

Make your heart beat for the millennium development goals.

StandAgainstPoverty.org

Speaking now to writers: Can you imagine writing a sentence like Make your heart beat for the millennium development goals — and then not immediately deleting it? (And looking furtively around to make sure nobody was looking over your shoulder and saw your momentary lapse of sanity?)

If you dig around (which I did, so you don’t have to), it seems they want people to participate in events during the Millennium Development Goals Review Summit in September (sorry; we missed it). Though I’m not sure. They never actually come right out and say that. They just hint at it.

I know I keep saying the same thing about these stupid nonprofit ads, but that’s because they all seem to be stupid in the same way: They substitute abstraction for clarity.

I think the people at ad agencies are so thoroughly flummoxed by the fact that the “customers” of nonprofits just give away their money for “nothing” in return that they go into a conceptual tailspin.

On the other hand, a pretty large percentage of commercial advertising (where ad agencies are in their comfort zone) is obtuse, weird, and abstract. Maybe they aren’t really singling out their nonprofit clients for their ineptitude; maybe that’s just what they do.

You’ve been warned. Again. Don’t hire an ad agency if you want your message to make sense.

Thanks for the tip to Osocio, who hit the nail on the head for this one: “It feels more like a case of Art Director self-love.”

More stupid nonprofit ads.


Comments

2 responses to “Stupid ad imagines donors look like dead bodies”

  1. Is this a game? OK, I’ll play.
    Hypothermia victim (she’s a bit blue-ish) with internal hard drive taped to her left breast.

  2. Is this a game? OK, I’ll play.
    Hypothermia victim (she’s a bit blue-ish) with internal hard drive taped to her left breast.

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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