Melted wax makes a stupid metaphor in failed ads

Stupid ads

Here’s some very silly work done for World Wildlife Foundation – Philippines. It’s in support of Earth Hour, an event that encourages people to turn off electric lights to raise awareness about climate change.

This ridiculous mess is brought to us by our abstraction-loving, award-hungry, nonprofit-predatory friends at Leo Burnett.

(This and several more similar pieces here.)

Earth-hour-coral

You can figure this out if you know some background.

That bright orange coral stuff is actually a melted-down candle! Get it? Oh, you didn’t realize this whole thing is about Earth Hour? You didn’t see the tiny logo in the upper right? You didn’t know candles are part of the Earth Hour observance? You haven’t heard of Earth Hour?

Well anyhow, see how that melted wax that looks like coral is sheltering the pretty little fish! See? What? You say you aren’t conversant in coral-reef ecosystems? You didn’t know that looks like coral?

Well, surely you made the central connection: Light your candles for Earth Hour, and that’s like sheltering fish and doing other helpful things for the environment. Oh, c’mon! You didn’t make that connection? What do we have to do for people these days? Spell it out?

Seasoned fundraisers know that if you want people to do anything, you have to tell them clearly, directly, and repeatedly. Not through complex visual metaphors that require a lot of background to understand.

This is an example of stupid nonprofit advertising because the creators refused to consider what people know, and chose to assume everyone knows what they know. Pretty pictures that carry hidden messages are not how you influence people.

Thanks to Creative Advertisements for NGO for the tip.

More Stupid Nonprofit Ads.


Comments

4 responses to “Melted wax makes a stupid metaphor in failed ads”

  1. Terrible fundraising ad. Great desktop wallpaper. I think those two probably negatively correlate.

  2. Terrible fundraising ad. Great desktop wallpaper. I think those two probably negatively correlate.

  3. Brilliant. Well done. Made me stop and think. I was engaged and wanted to find out more. Nice job bringing awareness to the issue (even if the issue is bogus).

  4. Brilliant. Well done. Made me stop and think. I was engaged and wanted to find out more. Nice job bringing awareness to the issue (even if the issue is bogus).

Leave a Reply

What this blog is about

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.

Blog policies

Subscribe

Get new posts by email:

About the blogger

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.


Archives

Blogroll

Categories


Search the blog

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.

Recent Comments

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.

Blog Roll

someone’s blog