Violent video explodes nonprofit’s reputation

A number of people have asked if I planned to feature this short film done for climate change charity 10:10 as a stupid nonprofit ad.

I’m not going to. Instead, I’m going to label this one an Evil Nonprofit Ad. And as I hope never to encounter anything as reprehensible as this ever again, there won’t be a series.

Here it is, though I can’t say I recommend you watch it. If you do, you’re likely to feel kind of sick for a while.

(It’s also here on YouTube.)

Apparently, it was meant to be funny. A jokey, light-hearted fantasy about reducing people who don’t agree with you (including children) to splatters of bloody pulp. Yeah, that’s just hilarious. No pressure! Wink!

To their credit, the 10:10 Campaign has withdrawn this film. But you just have to ask How did this happen? How did something so vile get approved?

I have no inside knowledge, but I’ll hazard a guess: It was made by famous Hollywood professionals. And just as nonprofits are sometimes blinded by the glamour of ad agencies into doing ads that shouldn’t exist, the glitz of Hollywood must have just made their brains turn off so they accepted this psychotic disease of a video.

In this case, the result of being dazzled was even worse than it is when ad agencies create stupid, wasteful messages.

Sometimes Hollywood films are so violent and thuggishly vicious you get the feeling you’re looking straight into some kind of demonic heart of darkness. Many make the claim that it’s all just a joke. This film has that same feeling.

It doesn’t even make a case for reducing your carbon footprint. It just says people who don’t get it deserve violent summary executions at the hands of low-level bureaucrats. (After I saw it, I had a strong urge to drive my car a lot and cut down some trees. Anything to dissociate myself from the wickedness.)

So a no-doubt good-hearted nonprofit organization now looks like a pack of psychos. They’ve handed climate-change deniers a perfect little straw man that “proves” their claim that environmentalists are anti-human nazis. (The wingnut fever swamp is loving this gift.) They’ve done lasting, maybe irreparable damage to their own reputation and to their cause in general.

Don’t let it happen to you. If someone cool and famous offers you something, you still have to think carefully and critically about what they’re offering. It’s not necessarily good. It may be the worst thing that ever happens to you.


Comments

14 responses to “Violent video explodes nonprofit’s reputation”

  1. Oh my God. I couldn’t even watch to the end. This gives me huge concerns about the leadership, and frankly mission, at 10:10. And I’m a greenie. Wow.

  2. Oh my God. I couldn’t even watch to the end. This gives me huge concerns about the leadership, and frankly mission, at 10:10. And I’m a greenie. Wow.

  3. Mary Cahalane Avatar
    Mary Cahalane

    That is vile.

  4. Mary Cahalane Avatar
    Mary Cahalane

    That is vile.

  5. Wow. So if I don’t cut my carbon emissions by 10% you’ll kill me? Nice.

  6. Wow. So if I don’t cut my carbon emissions by 10% you’ll kill me? Nice.

  7. I think you need to get off your high horse blaming Agencies all the time for leading ‘good hearted non profit organizations’. Charities have to take responsibility for commissioning work like this. The client signs off the brief,script,storyboard,pre prod,budget, finished film to air.
    10:10 deserve this mess.

  8. I think you need to get off your high horse blaming Agencies all the time for leading ‘good hearted non profit organizations’. Charities have to take responsibility for commissioning work like this. The client signs off the brief,script,storyboard,pre prod,budget, finished film to air.
    10:10 deserve this mess.

  9. Jerold D Kappel Avatar
    Jerold D Kappel

    In 1991 I had just started as assistant museum director for external affairs at the Milwaukee Public Museum. The museum was soon to open its new installation of its antiquities collection, an exhibit called “Temples, Tells, and Tombs.” With great fanfare, an ad agency working pro bono had arranged for Wisconsin natives and Hollywood filmmakers (of Airplane! fame), the Zuckers to shoot the PSA. Their concept: two archaeologists, Indiana Jones types, break into a tomb and hilarity ensues, including a mummy doing a “wrap” song.
    I killed the entire ad campaign. Egypt and other nations with tombs and antiquities have strict laws about these sites and artifacts, as does the USA and Native American sites. Breaking into a tomb causes destruction and is theft. Tomb raiding is an international crime and is contrary to museum ethical policies. Humorous or not, it would have sent the wrong message to the community and the museum field. I wrote an alternate PSA with children going through the half-finished exhibit in deep shadows, used a local videographer and composer-musician, and the PSA was highly played by television stations in a 90 mile radius. It was cute, but respectful of the exhibit and the artifacts. It stayed true to the museum’s mission. The pro bono ad agency designed other printed material (that was along the same coarse lines), and was very upset with me and backed out rather than accept the changes I requested. Surprisingly, putting the campaign together myself with staff and paid contractors ended up being less expensive than the pro bono ad agency’s campaign. And the exhibit opened to one of the largest first month attendance of any permanent exhibit in the museum’s history.
    A nonprofit has to continually focus on its mission and values in any communication with public. If an ad, a special event, any communication strays from that singular focus, it risks damaging the integrity of the organization.

  10. Jerold D Kappel Avatar
    Jerold D Kappel

    In 1991 I had just started as assistant museum director for external affairs at the Milwaukee Public Museum. The museum was soon to open its new installation of its antiquities collection, an exhibit called “Temples, Tells, and Tombs.” With great fanfare, an ad agency working pro bono had arranged for Wisconsin natives and Hollywood filmmakers (of Airplane! fame), the Zuckers to shoot the PSA. Their concept: two archaeologists, Indiana Jones types, break into a tomb and hilarity ensues, including a mummy doing a “wrap” song.
    I killed the entire ad campaign. Egypt and other nations with tombs and antiquities have strict laws about these sites and artifacts, as does the USA and Native American sites. Breaking into a tomb causes destruction and is theft. Tomb raiding is an international crime and is contrary to museum ethical policies. Humorous or not, it would have sent the wrong message to the community and the museum field. I wrote an alternate PSA with children going through the half-finished exhibit in deep shadows, used a local videographer and composer-musician, and the PSA was highly played by television stations in a 90 mile radius. It was cute, but respectful of the exhibit and the artifacts. It stayed true to the museum’s mission. The pro bono ad agency designed other printed material (that was along the same coarse lines), and was very upset with me and backed out rather than accept the changes I requested. Surprisingly, putting the campaign together myself with staff and paid contractors ended up being less expensive than the pro bono ad agency’s campaign. And the exhibit opened to one of the largest first month attendance of any permanent exhibit in the museum’s history.
    A nonprofit has to continually focus on its mission and values in any communication with public. If an ad, a special event, any communication strays from that singular focus, it risks damaging the integrity of the organization.

  11. Jeff Imparato Avatar
    Jeff Imparato

    Monty Python meets global climate change. We are the Knights that go BLECHHH! Major ad fail!

  12. Jeff Imparato Avatar
    Jeff Imparato

    Monty Python meets global climate change. We are the Knights that go BLECHHH! Major ad fail!

  13. In my opinion the advertising within video will be ignored for the most part just like commercials are for the most part on television.
    But using video as content on your website is continuing to grow. Over the past decade the popularity of computers and access to affordable internet has resulted in the population becoming visual learners. The ease of access to video is just fueling that fire.

  14. In my opinion the advertising within video will be ignored for the most part just like commercials are for the most part on television.
    But using video as content on your website is continuing to grow. Over the past decade the popularity of computers and access to affordable internet has resulted in the population becoming visual learners. The ease of access to video is just fueling that fire.

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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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