A whale of a stupid idea

Stupid ads

There are times when we’d all love to break free from the bonds of the ordinary: to ignore gravity and soar through the air; to sing with a full-throated beauty, instead of the croaky, tuneless voice we actually have; to be able to walk through walls, see the future, or breathe under water.

That’s what this video, created for Whale and Dolphin Conservation, is about: Breaking away from reality and being instead in a fantasy.

Okay, but for what purpose?

Well, none. It’s just a fantasy. Beautifully rendered, and completely meaningless. Which is what makes it stupid. Take a look:

Or watch it here on Vimeo.

The one thing that makes monuments to irrelevance like this so entertaining are the things the creators say about them. Here’s what someone from the creative agency that did this video said to explain the work:

By taking the whale out of its cavernous ocean environment, we created this surrealist moment that put these animals’ true size in context, prompting the viewer to think about them in an entirely new way.

Oh good. People can think about whales in an entirely new way. Of course, it’s a way that isn’t actually real, but it’s different. Will that lead them to donate, volunteer, or do anything else? Of course not!

Please take note: A visually striking image is not fundraising. It’s also not marketing, brand-building, or anything else worth doing. Unless you’re doing pure art. Fundraising is about action. If you aren’t presenting people with a specific action they can take to make the world better, you’re just making noise.

I want to point out that Whale and Dolphin Conservation, to their credit, is apparently not a participant in this act of nonprofit stupidity. The video is not to be found on their website, or any of their social media outlets. Good for them. All too often, nonprofit organizations get snookered by the people that create them into wasting their marketing on things like this. Sometimes they even pay for it. Or, worse yet, replace real fundraising with it.

All we have here is some portfolio padding for a creative agency. But be careful: They may try to use this to get paying work from unsuspecting nonprofits. Don’t let them fool you!

Thanks to Osocio for the tip.

More Stupid Nonprofit Ads.


Comments

2 responses to “A whale of a stupid idea”

  1. There’s a first time for everything. I actually agree that this ad is stupid. No idea what point they were trying to make.

  2. There’s a first time for everything. I actually agree that this ad is stupid. No idea what point they were trying to make.

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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.