Stupid storm ad ignores the humanity

Stupid ads

The Ad Council is a juicy source of some real Stupid Nonprofit Ad action.

That’s too bad, because they’ve done some great work in the past. But apparently the forces of clever abstractionism are so strong in the ad industry all you’re going to get when agencies donate their time is self-indulgent, high-production conceptual abstractions.

Like this one, done to encourage donations post Super Storm Sandy:

(Or watch it here on YouTube.)

Get it? Money can turn into anything. So give money!

Give us a break.

Let’s remember the central fact about fundraising: People give to touch people. If you want to unlock their philanthropy, you need to show them who needs help. During times of disaster, this becomes very easy to do, because the news media are putting those images and stories everywhere donors look.

People do not give because they’re impressed by your cleverness and production prowess.

This is the Ad Council, which apparently acts in a vacuum. But these same ad agency geniuses would love to do similar work for you. Just say no!

Thanks to Osocio for the tip.

More Stupid Nonprofit Ads.


Comments

8 responses to “Stupid storm ad ignores the humanity”

  1. Maybe the point of this ad isn’t to get people to donate; they already want to do that after seeing Sandy all over the news. The problem is people donating stuff like canned goods and clothing that may be hard to distribute and could be bought more cheaply in bulk by organizations. I think the point is to let people know that giving money may be a more effective way to help.

  2. Maybe the point of this ad isn’t to get people to donate; they already want to do that after seeing Sandy all over the news. The problem is people donating stuff like canned goods and clothing that may be hard to distribute and could be bought more cheaply in bulk by organizations. I think the point is to let people know that giving money may be a more effective way to help.

  3. Could you provide some data on the response and revenue any of the orgs received from these ads to prove that they don’t work. It seems rather easy to say a “stupid ad” is “stupid,” when the thing that we really want to know is if it works.

  4. Could you provide some data on the response and revenue any of the orgs received from these ads to prove that they don’t work. It seems rather easy to say a “stupid ad” is “stupid,” when the thing that we really want to know is if it works.

  5. While I normally agree with you on this point, I think this ad is clever. Instead of hitting us over the head with the pictures of Sandy’s destruction, it assumes that you already know about that part, but maybe haven’t given because you don’t believe a small donation will help. If the viewer isn’t already fully aware of the problem, it’s doubtful they’ll be giving. Anyway, this ad isn’t aimed at them, and is able to capitalize on this specific time and situation. I do agree, however, that in most cases this would be bad strategy.

  6. While I normally agree with you on this point, I think this ad is clever. Instead of hitting us over the head with the pictures of Sandy’s destruction, it assumes that you already know about that part, but maybe haven’t given because you don’t believe a small donation will help. If the viewer isn’t already fully aware of the problem, it’s doubtful they’ll be giving. Anyway, this ad isn’t aimed at them, and is able to capitalize on this specific time and situation. I do agree, however, that in most cases this would be bad strategy.

  7. I think the commercial works if the goal is in fact to encourage people to give cash, rather than used clothing for example. The Red Cross came right out and asked people to stop doing supply drives for Sandy because it was creating a logistical nightmare, and instead to give cash. It’s amazing (and mildly disgusting) what some people will box up and ship off in situations like these. I’d bet that this is in direct response to Red Cross’s request for cash donations (but I don’t know that for a fact).

  8. I think the commercial works if the goal is in fact to encourage people to give cash, rather than used clothing for example. The Red Cross came right out and asked people to stop doing supply drives for Sandy because it was creating a logistical nightmare, and instead to give cash. It’s amazing (and mildly disgusting) what some people will box up and ship off in situations like these. I’d bet that this is in direct response to Red Cross’s request for cash donations (but I don’t know that for a fact).

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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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