The case of the stupid, barely visible logo

Stupid ads
Here’s one of a series of print ads for Cruz Roja Española (Spanish Red Cross) that made it into the Stupid Nonprofit Ads category by a nose. Like many honorees, this one approaches nonprofit marketing through obscure symbolism.

Other than that, it’s pretty harmless.

Here’s one of the series. Squint real hard, and you can see the cleverness:

Redcrossterrace

Like this one, all the ads in the series are messy, uncompelling photos. Each one contains a red cross, integrated into the photo. The copy says Perhaps you can’t see us, but we are there.

I don’t get it.

They seem to be saying in this ad that the Red Cross is present at a normal outdoor café. I can buy that. Chances are someone in the crowd has received blood or maybe even disaster assistance.

But what’s the point? The Red Cross in omnipresent? Even if true, how is that supposed to move anyone to action of any kind?

Well, really, it’s not supposed to move anyone to action. What we have here is the typical ad agency stupidity: Assert (but don’t prove) an unremarkable fact about a nonprofit — but do it in a clever, eye-candy way. It won’t impact the real world in any way, but that’s okay.

The fact that the copy in these Spanish ads is in English is a sign that these ads are not real attempts at marketing, but award bait.

The world would have been a better place if Cruz Roja had a series of ads that motivated people to give blood or money or even respect. With these ads, the world will be better for the ad agency — if it wins the award they’re after. That’s not why Cruz Roja exists, and they should not be participating in it.

Thanks to Creative Advertisements for NGO for the tip. (Other ads in the series are at this link.)

More Stupid Nonprofit Ads.


Comments

2 responses to “The case of the stupid, barely visible logo”

  1. That “you can’t see us but we are there” slogan might work better in a recruiting ad for the CIA.

  2. That “you can’t see us but we are there” slogan might work better in a recruiting ad for the CIA.

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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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About the blogger

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.