How to win an award and not dirty your hands with revenue

There’s a great post at Direct Creative Blog, 6 secrets for winning pointy plastic creative advertising awards, that helps explain a lot about why stupid nonprofit ads are the way they are.

To win a spiffy lucite ad-industry award, just follow these steps:


  1. Start with a “concept.” Start with a pun, an obscure cultural reference, a witty visual, or some idea that proves you’re ultra creative.
  2. Feature stunning photography or artwork.
    Irrelevant visuals and minimal copy are the keys to stifling response and stocking your lobby with those clear resin obelisks!
  3. Design it first and fill in the copy later.
    Leave little blank spaces and tell the writer to fill them in.
  4. Get fancy with type. Treat the copy as a visual element instead of thoughts and ideas you want to communicate clearly.
  5. Make your phone number really, really small. Nothing is more off-putting to judges than appearing too eager to conduct business.
  6. Use a coupon with an unusual shape. A square coupon with a dashed border is so old fogy.

If you are boring and pedestrian enough that you must raise funds, ignore all these steps.


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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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