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Cause Marketing

Affordable Hearing Aids: A Crowdsourcing Case Study

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Crowdsourced funding is a mainstay among startups, but there’s a subtle art to it–and by its nature it’s never a sure thing.

A company called iHear recently completed a very successful crowdsourcing effort; president Adnan Shenib wrote that the company’s “Indiegogo campaign…resulted in achieving more than 3 times our initial goal” thanks, at least in part, to the “successful placement of key articles and interviews.”

We spoke to Jonathan Abramson, president and founder of iHear AOR bluetone Marketing & Public Relations, to learn more.

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Detroit’s Gamble Could Be the PR Move Motor City Needs

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Is this Detroit’s final bet for a fixed city?

Back in December, we brought you a story concerning the dire need for PR in Detroit. A plea to the public may be the only thing to rescue this once thriving epicenter of commerce and really fine music.

The government has failed it. The auto industry has failed it. And now the folks of Detroit are $18 million in debt with only one ironic source of hope — gambling.

According to the Wall Street JournalDetroit’s three casinos pull in some nice coin, which is what was offered as collateral in the 2009 negotiations with some big banks to secure lower interest rates on its excruciating debt. And that forces us to re-ask the same question: where is the PR?

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George R. R. Martin’s Epic Charity Campaign Going Strong

Win A Wolf Sanctuary Tour and Helicopter Ride with George R.R. Martin - YouTubeWho better to raise money for a wolf sanctuary than the resurrector of direwolves himself, George R. R. Martin? And what better way to encourage donations than to offer fans a chance to die at the author’s hands like so many of their beloved characters (not to mention the dozens of extras who died during last night’s half-hour battle)?

So far, over $300,000 has been raised by Martin’s four-day-old campaign to support the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary and The Food Depot of Santa Fe, and two people have already won the highest honor (their very own grisly deaths being written into the next book) by each donating $20,000 to the cause. But if you couldn’t quite afford such a hefty sum, fret not!

With just over $150,000 to go before Martin’s $500,000 goal is met, there are still some epic prizes up for grabs as of this writing, including a hand-written thank-you note ($1,200 donation), a signed and dedicated Game of Thrones book ($600 donation), and T-shirts and other memorabilia for smaller donations. Plus, each donor is automatically entered to win the grand prize: a helicopter ride to the wolf sanctuary with the famed author himself. Martin describes the future excursion this way: Read more

LeVar Burton’s ‘Reading Rainbow’ Kickstarter Already Exceeding its Goal

LeVar Burton wants the web to save reading and _Reading Rainbow_ | The Verge

Just like it always did, “Reading Rainbow” is counting on “viewers like you” to bring access to books and excitement about reading to children across America. And “you” are seriously stepping up to the fundraising plate.

By now, you’ve likely heard that the classic show’s longtime host, LeVar Burton (who may have been our childhood hero), has taken to crowdsourcing website Kickstarter to fund the resurrection of “Reading Rainbow” in a new, web-based format that would bring an unlimited library to kids everywhere and schools most in need.

Though Burton launched a successful Reading Rainbow tablet App two years ago, he points out that not every child has access to tablets, either at home or at school, but 97% of American children have web access. As the Kickstarter page explains: Read more

Is Coca-Cola’s New Ad with Exploited Workers ‘The Real Thing’ or a Fake PR Stunt?

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Sure, they look happy. It’s possible they don’t know they’re being used for PR brownie points.

When some global companies — from car manufacturers to retail developers — spend millions of dollars on advertising, there is always a “one-upsmanship” that exists in whiteboard and brainstorm meetings. Forget the wheel. They want to reinvent an entirely new mode of transportation with every new campaign.

Coca-Cola is known for that happy-happy-joy-joy advertising. From cutesy polar bears sucking down caffeine to legendary football players throwing their stank jersey at a child football fan, Coke has come up with iconic advertisements. Why they can’t be happy with that success is beyond me. Maybe that’s why I’m in the perception, earned media rather than pleasure, paid media.

Speaking of perception, there’s also this commercial where Coke is shown exploiting the plight of slave workers in Dubai. Yeah, this happened…

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Multiple Brand Commercials Come Together to Form Powerful Autism Awareness PSA

In an effort to round out Autism Awareness month with a powerful (yet still brand-centered) message, advertising agency BBDO New York has created three separate commercial spots for clients Band-Aid, Campbell’s Soup and AT&T, which, when viewed together, combine to form a PSA about the difference that early diagnosis can make in the life of a child with autism.

The series of spots, which first aired together during Monday’s CNN’s News Day, opens with a brief message from Autism Speaks, which says, “Learn the early signs of autism today. Because an early diagnosis can make a lifetime of difference.” The viewer then watches a young boy with autism grow up over the course of three fifteen-second, brand-sponsored clips — his mother applies a Band-Aid to his injured knee as a toddler; he takes a hearty bite of Campbell’s soup as a growing boy; he receives a device powered by AT&T as a high school graduate.

The project works well and is quietly powerful because the situations pictured are brief, relatable, and feel exceptionally real — this appears to be an ordinary family living their ordinary lives, but it’s through everyday scenarios that extraordinary progress is made, and extraordinary love is felt; such is the case in all of our lives. Furthermore, the brand integration feels seamless because the common, everyday products pictured are often staples of a child-rearing household, so the brand messages do not disrupt the greater message or feel shoehorned in. Read more

World Wildlife Federation Finds Another Use for Snapchat

Last week we discussed why Snapchat might be the future of content marketing with ICED Media president Leslie Hall.

In case you’re still skeptical, here’s a very clever campaign from the World Wildlife Federation Denmark and agencies UncleGrey (Denmark) and 41? 29! (Turkey) that combines a few topical elements: a traditional video clip, selfies, hashtags, the temporary nature of Snapchats and the emotional components that make content sharable.

While the campaign might not directly encourage fundraising, it’s certainly a creative use of the medium.

[H/T PSFK]

Here’s How to Optimize Your Charity Fundraising in 2014

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If you work with nonprofit clients, then you should be familiar with a couple of the key findings from consulting company M+R’s new “benchmarks” study on trends in fundraising:

  • Donation rates are higher than ever before, with online giving rising 14% overall in 2013
  • Social media audiences are rapidly expanding: Facebook followers increased 37% and Twitter totals rose 46% over the past year

AND YET…

  • All corresponding email stats declined in 2013: open rates, response rates and advocacy emails

What does it all mean? We’ll tell you, with the help of M+R VP of creative development Will Valverde, after the jump.

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‘Miracle Machine’ That Turns Water into Wine Isn’t Real: Actually Elaborate Stunt for Nonprofit

Wine To Water | MiracleIf you were one of the many thousands who were super stoked about the Miracle Machine that can turn water into fine wine in just a few days, we hate to burst your bubble, but that feat will have to be left to the big guy upstairs after all — the machine was a hoax, but before you get too upset, you were fooled for a really good cause (and you can still get some wine out of the deal).

A video released a few weeks ago featured an elaborate story and presentation of the Miracle Machine, which would supposedly allow you to make high quality wine at home in just three days. The video went viral and has been viewed more than 200,000 times. All this attention has created the perfect environment for the people behind the video–the nonprofit Wine to Water–to release their punch line: the gadget doesn’t exist, but there’s a major world issue that does.

“While we can’t turn water into wine,” admits the big-reveal video (below), “we can turn wine into water.” For ten years, Wine to Water has been using wine-related events like tastings and wine sales as fundraisers to help get clean drinking water to people who need it most. To date, the organization has provided clean water and sanitation to over 250,000 people in 17 countries. Read more

‘Drive High, Get a DUI’ Campaign Is as Real as Missing Funyuns in Denver

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Yeah, brah. Those voices really are telling you it’s not kosher to dope and drive.

It was only a matter of time after the state of Colorado legalized marijuana consumption that the Colorado Department of Transportation was going to do make an ad campaign about it. And they did with the series entitled “Drive High, Get a DUI.”

Sure, it is as light-hearted as watching a “Cheech and Chong” movie from the glorious 70s and 80s (find it online, kids), but it makes the point when the hippie lettuce kicks in, folk tend to space out. And that’s not so cool when you are in the middle lane of the highway.

Take a peek of the ads after the jump…

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