Stupid kids — get offa my marketing!

Stupid ads

If you make an ad for beer, chances are you’re not going to show a whole lot of beer. After all:


  • All beer looks about the same, and it doesn’t look interesting.
  • All beer tastes pretty much the same.
  • All beer has roughly the same affect on you.

So beer ads tend to be abstract and indirect. It’s babes, sports, and jokes, not beer.

You don’t have to do that if what you’re pushing is saving the lives of kids who have cancer. Being straightforward and literal covers it for you with emotion and depth.

But not according to an ad agency that recently did some work for the Dutch cancer charity KIKA (Kinderen Kanker Vrij, or Children Cancer Free). They took the beer-ad approach of pushing something other than the issue at hand.

Check out this print ad:

Kika

No kids. No humans at all. No cancer, no need, no tragedy, no triumph.

Just a mild joke. I chuckled a little, once I figured it out.

Helping kids in need is one of the most potent motivators in existence. If your cause has anything to do with helping children, you are automatically several steps ahead of everyone else in the race to influence donors.

Helping children is not anything like selling beer.

So if an ad agency comes to you with a bold plan to replace children with a joke, or some wordplay, or an abstraction, or symbolism — tell them no thanks. No matter how sophisticated and clever they make it sound.

Thanks to Osocio for the tip. You can also find other examples of the campaign there.

More Stupid Nonprofit Ads.


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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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