Getting enough people to make enough donations to keep a program running is no “field of dreams” for charitable organizations these days. In other words, “they” won’t come just because you “build it.” In order to survive, a charitable organization has got to get the word out to its prospective donors. It’s got to spend some money tugging at heart strings to convince people to dig deep into their pockets and give, give, give.
Public Service Announcements (PSAs), a classic outreach method, are often used to encourage people to get on board. I just saw one of the most creative PSAs I’ve seen in a long time: The (Red) campaign’s PSA to support its new documentary about HIV, “The Lazarus Effect.” This PSA boasts some huge celebrities (always a great idea when promoting a charity to have celebrity attention), like Bono, Penelope Cruz, Gwen Stefani, Julianne Moore, Dakota Fanning, Ludacris, Hugh Jackman, Don Cheadle, and more, each talking about one thing they can buy for 40 cents. Gwen Stefani can buy an orange. Bono can buy a party hat. Penelope Cruz can buy some chewing gum. You get the picture. And at the end of the PSA, Bono tells you that 40 cents a day can purchase HIV medication that can keep an HIV patient alive.
I think the PSA is powerful, and an example of how a charitable organization has gotten the all-important marketing aspect right. Sure, (Red) has tremendous support and lots of money to put behind marketing. As a matter of fact, in the past, they’ve been chastised for spending too much money promoting the purchases of their (Red) products. But, this particular campaign is not actually intended to raise money, but to raise awareness.
(Red) has launched this PSA to raise awareness about a new HBO films documentary, “The Lazarus Effect,” which premieres on May 24. This documentary features four lives of HIV patients in Africa who were each on the brink of death, until they received HIV medication that gave them a second chance at life. (Red) wants you to watch the film. The organization wants you to be impacted by the images you see, and by the mere idea that such a small sum of money, 40 cents a day, can actually help save someone’s life. Then, once they’ve gotten you to see the light, they hope you’ll support their programs.
Check out the PSA here, and don’t forget to catch “The Lazarus Effect” on HBO on May 24.
(Red) For 40 Cents
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