Charities and NGOs are increasingly driving innovation in advertising. The main reason for this is that they are willing to be very brave and provocative and lean into new creative formats and technologies. This is obviously driven by the fact that they have little money (compared to commercial Brands) and have one big opportunity to really make an impact.
A brilliant use of wearable technology has been developed by the Weightless Project Inc., a non-profit that aims to tackle two global issues with one project – obesity & hunger. The project has partnered with wearable Brands like Jawbone, Basis, and Fibit and challenges people to burn calories. With each calorie burned, a donation is given to aid hunger in countries and areas that desperately need it. What a great way to tackle global issues by creating a platform for Brands to “walk the talk” of their company visions.
The Dutch association for Alzheimer’s developed a powerful program by using Facebook’s timeline and tagging functionally in a very innovative way. The goal was to help people understand and feel the frustration that those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease go through day in day out. As such, they partnered with festivals and the like that had big fanbases so that they could access user’s timelines. Then they posted photos of those people at parties that they weren’t at. These users were utterly confused about these parties that they apparently attended, and thus felt first hand what Alzheimer’s disease was about. Really smart. Look at the video here.
The final example of marketing innovation by a charity comes from Cape Town in South Africa where they developed a unique pop-up store for homeless clothing donation. The challenge was that regular donation centres were either out of the way or in shady neighbourhoods which discouraged donors. As such, they brought the donation centre to the doorstep (almost) of those that were willing to give up their garbs. A nifty idea. Have a look.