“…but almost giving is the same as not giving at all.”

The image of an elderly woman sitting forlornly in an apartment helps the Ad Council's new campaign called “Generous Nation” make a compelling point: when it comes to giving, almost doesn't count.

Another commercial in the series features a man trying to walk up a flight of stairs on crutches. “This is a man who almost learned to walk at a rehab center that almost got built by people who almost gave money. Almost gave.”

The stated purpose of the campaign is to motivate what the Council chairwoman Judy L. Hu calls 'fencesitters' to give in the absence of front page disasters like 9/11 or Hurricane Katrina.

In many ways the strategy behind “Generous Nation” campaign reflects the confluence of trends we've been covering in The Agitator — the increased public focus on on charity and philanthropy springing from the Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina… the massive publicity given to Gates and Buffet… the rise of the Baby Boom generation as a volunteer resource, and the fragmentation of the media marketplace.

Gone are the days when the Ad Council could go on the three major television networks and in one fell swoop launch, for example, designated driver (“Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk”) campaign. To deal with today's fragmentation of the media marketplace the Council has cast a far wider net to include the major cable companies and the internet.

Visitors to the “Generous Nation” campaign website can view the ads, volunteer, post comments, get information on organzations in 10 categories (animals, disaster relief, hunger and homelessness, for example) and then make contributions directly through a link to each organization's website.

Will it work? In the judgement of this Agitator… Almost.

Continue reading “”A lot of people almost helped her…””

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