Monday, July 28, 2008

Going on Tour

Tomorrow I am heading out on the Vans Warped Tour to see what "the kids" are into these days. Don't worry, I've packed some earplugs.

I went on Warped Tour last year, and learned a lot about what young adults think of the nonprofit I work for (peta2). It was an amazing experience with incredible, direct feedback- far surpassing any survey or study that comes past my desk about youth.

Nothing beats talking to your prime demographic in their prime element for 10 hours a day. I admit, it does help that I look a bit younger than I actually am- gotta get this field research will I still can!

The best part of going on the tour is that I get to evaluate first hand how peta2's outreach is doing. I also get to scout out what other nonprofits (and more importantly- other corporations) are doing to get the youth's eyes and ears.

So for the next few days I will be M.I.A. in the blogging world, but will make sure to tell you all the juicy details when I get back.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Why I Love Gydget

I love widgets so much, I even list them as one of my interests on Facebook. Widgets are amazing. They drive traffic, raise funds, play videos, provide info, and even feed your cats while you're on vacation (OK- maybe not the last one). The only things I don't like about widgets is that they can be both pricey and complicated to create, which is not good news for nonprofits with a small staff and small budget.

However, there is a widget god. If you are looking to create an easy and effective widget on a shoestring budget (i.e. no budget), look no further than Gydget.

I made the following widget in less than an hour, with little nohow, and it has already had over 100,000 unique views since launching in June.

Banner 2 Banner 1 go!

Gydget is free and easy, which is music to ones ears if they are a non-developer marketer like myself.

P.S. The peta2 Woof widget is ranked 3rd on top grabbed widgets this week right behind Lil Wayne. That just makes me smile.

P.P.S. Gydget did not pay me to write this. To prove it, I also recommend Sprout Builder for all your widget making needs.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Be Like Obama

I have to say, I am not a fan of politics. That being said, Obama's campaign (so far) has been absolutely brilliant. Change We Can Believe In is the perfect slogan. It has the perfect sentiment, and most importantly has perfect timing.

I can't tell you how many times I have stared at his site and watched the "Yes We Can" video in awe. When I look at his campaign, the thoughts that come to mind are: positive, young, optimistic, empowering, and strong.

Nonprofits take heed- this is what the people want. They want to feel like that can make change. They want to feel good about themselves. They want something to believe in.

There is no debate, Obama is the best marketer so far, and may the best marketer win...

Friday, July 18, 2008

To the Beach!

I am heading to the beach for a much needed vacation, so I will not be posting the next few days (don’t miss me too much). While you’re waiting for my glorious return, check out the winners from Getting Attention’s Tagline Awards. My favorite is:

Arts & Culture: Where Actors Find Their Space —NYC Theatre Spaces/This clearinghouse for NYC rehearsal and performance spaces uses a double entendre to go beyond a description of its services and highlight the value of its work.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hot Buttered Babies

A buttered baby will get your attention. Take a look...

I love this PSA from Kids and Cars. Slightly disturbing, but gets the point across. Nothing says pay attention to me like a baby in a roasting pan.

This PSA is currently running in Texas, where there have been several recent baby deaths due to parents leaving their children locked in hot cars.

People also do this to dogs. A lot. Which brings up the very important question: who is cuter- buttered baby or Simon Cowell?

Not sure myself.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hire a Hero Needs a Little Help

Great idea by Hire a Hero (a nonprofit which works to connect unemployed military service men and women with employers using social networking)- collect one million thank you’s to send to the men and women who serve or have served in the military in the form of email messages. The one million thank you’s challenge launched on Independence Day and will last until Veteran's Day.

It’s a little sad that they only have 936 messages so far. They should trying pitching to military press and blogs far and wide to booster these numbers. They could also try teaming up with other vet, military, and military family support groups, and ask if they would send an email blast to support the campaign. Starting a Facebook group might also not be a bad idea.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Truth Hurts

I really don’t understand the new(ish) “Sunny Side of Truth” campaign. The shock value and creativity that Truth had in their 2006 ad campaign has been replaced with singing unicorns and dancing leprechauns. I just don’t get it.

Sure is it slightly funny, but the point of the campaign is completely lost. I can’t really even make out what they are singing about. Is tobacco bad or good? Are musicals the new black?

I think they need to go back to the drawing board on this one. The ads they had in 06 were much more relevant- they should continue on that path again. They got the money- make it happen.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Nonprofit iTunes Apps? Not so fast...

Still can’t download the new software needed to update my iPhone (not the new one) so I can upload from iTunes' new App Store, but a girl still can still browse right? The apps range from readable bibles to Starbucks locators, but alas, the closest nonprofit related app I could find was "Survivors 1 and 2"- here is the description for it:

What if the animal’s in Noah’s Art could teach us something about Global Warming and Saving the Planet?

Slim pickings now, but I am looking forward to seeing what nonprofit is the first to break into this realm. I hope it’s mine! I think it would be wise to get in at the start. My dream would be to have an app that could tell you what vegetarian friendly restaurants were near your current location.

P.S. I am going to download Super Monkey Ball as soon as this thing starts working.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Razor Blades in Bikinis

This direct marketing campaign from the Spanish nonprofit Association of Women Against Genital Mutilation (AMAM) is absolutely amazing. So amazing that when I Googled AMAM several articles about the campaign came up before their own site. Some have said that this campaign crossed the line, but I say there really is no line to cross anymore. If it gets people talking- it gets people talking. It got me to their site.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Business of Nonprofits

I love this quote from marketing guru Seth Godin:

“Nonprofits have to recognize that they’re businesses, not just causes. In the face of this new reality, an increasing number of forward-looking nonprofits are beginning to understand the increased revenue, focus and effectiveness that can come from adopting “for profit” business approaches. Increasingly, they are reinventing themselves as social entrepreneurs, combining “the passion of a social mission with an image of businesslike discipline, innovation, and determination.”

Top 5 nonprofits that I think are doing this and doing this well:

1. PETA (yes, I am a little biased)
2. SOS
3. Human Rights Campaign
4. Greenpeace
5. The Humane Society of the United States

Monday, July 07, 2008

Thurgood Marshall Would Be Proud

Right after college, I spent a year teaching at Thurgood Marshall Academy Public Charter High School (quite the mouthful) in SE D.C. through the AmeriCorps VISTA program. Since then, I continue to keep tabs on how the school is doing by checking out their website, which I am happy to report is leagues ahead of what it was during my time there.

I absolutely love the new blog feature of the site (although it’s not updated as frequently as I would like)- I think it's essential for students, parents, teachers, and donors alike to get these sorts of informal updates about what the school is up to. I also enjoyed the fact that they had an online donation page. However, I do think that they should promote this feature on the front page, and not keep it hidden in the back pages.
My favorite part of the site is their news and events updates- simply for that fact that they never fail to make me smile.

My old high school’s site seems so sad in comparison!

P.S. Donate to them if you can. They do amazing work- see the WSJ article here.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Silly Mr. Lagerfield

This French government ad campaign, starring Chanel's Karl Lagerfield sporting a fluorescent yellow vest to make road safety more chic makes me giggle (OK- laugh out loud).

Translated, the ad says, "It's yellow, it's ugly, it doesn't go with anything, but it could save your life."

Karl Lagerfield always reminded me of some sort of fashion Terminator, so this ad is sorta hard for me to take seriously. But if it works, more power to the French!

*As of two days ago, the reflective vest is mandatory for motorists and cyclists in France.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

46664 Concert

Last night, I watched bits and pieces of the 46664 concert honoring Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday in London's Hyde Park. 46664 was Mandela's prison number while imprisoned in Robben Island off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa. The number is now the name of the nonprofit he established to combat the AIDS epidemic in Africa.

During the concert, messages wishing Mandela a Happy Birthday scrolled across the jumbo trons on either side of the stage. Viewers could either text their message, or fill out a form on the site to essentially create the world's largest birthday card. After sending a message, you then could download an exclusive free song from Queen + Paul Rodgers. Clever!

The concert was great. The cause itself is great. But the site for the cause needs a bit of work. The most surprising thing I saw after visiting the 46664 site, was that the 46664 tee that everyone from to Will Smith to Mandela himself was wearing was not more predominately displayed for sale. I am sure everyone and their mum was looking for that tee if they saw the concert. I know I kinda fancied it.