Monday, June 30, 2008

Hope House Gives Me Hope (for nonprofit ads)

I am so in love with this ad campaign by Hope House- a Norfolk, Virginia nonprofit supporting people with developmental disabilities.

Hope House has billboards all over Norfolk each depicting a different person that they support with a picture frame around their face and the tag line, "I Am a Masterpiece". The campaign is so innovative, and so very different than anything I have seen in this area of nonprofits. Instead of invoking pity, it accomplishes their mission statement, "We are people with developmental disabilities, who want nothing more than to control our own destinies and live in our own communities."

Below is the ad featuring my coffee shop's (Fairgrounds) local celebrity Hollywood.

A few weeks ago while I was coming home from work, I saw a bunch of people standing on the side of the road holding up picture frames and waving to passing cars. I quickly recognized that they must be from Hope House, and as I got closer, I saw that I was right. They were out promoting an upcoming arts festival, whose proceeds go to Hope House. It made me so happy. Very positive and clever campaign.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Send a Whale! Love This...

I can't get enough of Greenpeace's very creative Send a Whale petition get Japan to stop their whale hunting ways.

My boss Joel mentioned how it was interesting that they set it up so that you have to sign the petition before you can create your personalized origami whale, and I totally agree. A great incentive to get people to take the time to fill out a form. Seems to be a hit so far with 38,000+ having already signed the petition. I also dig the Facebook application to show off your very own whale.

Here is my whale- Sir Spout's A Lot:

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

You Built It- Now Will They Play?

Pretty good coverage on the Games for Change Festival, which was took place in early June in NYC.

The decent press coverage inspired me to play many a game on the Games for Change site.

The thing about it is, after playing several of the games, I started to get a bit depressed.

True, these games are tech savvy, progressive, and educational, but they are lacking one very important factor into getting them played by the masses: F-U-N.

Yes mindless, silly, stupid fun. If these games are geared towards young adults, the makers really need to take this into consideration a bit more.

Never underestimate the fun factor. There is only so much "education" that one can take before getting bored and resorting to playing Dance Off! on Viva Pinata.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Nonprofit Conferences- Are They Worth It?

It seems lately that I have been bombarded with notices of upcoming nonprofit conferences begging for my attendance (OK-not begging me specially). There’s the American Marketing Association’s Nonprofit Marketing Conference and the Orange Conference, and of course NTEN, which just took place. My question is: is the travel, time off of work, and expense worth it?

I attended NTEN last year, and was slightly disappointed at the amount of usable information I gathered from it. It was nice to network with other nonprofits, but I did not come back fully inspired. On the flip side, I attended SXSW Interactive last March and was completely blown away at all of the nerdy and useful info I was bombarded with as soon as I stepped in the Austin Conference Center.

Are the nonprofit specific conferences simply not worth it? Would I rather get my advice from Google and Facebook then other nonprofits? Sadly, right now the answer is yes.

I find that taking advice from those most successful at reaching the most people (usually of the corporate persuasion) and transitioning it to the nonprofit world is the way to go.

This does not mean you won’t find me at any upcoming nonprof conferences- you just might. However, it does mean that you will definitely find me at SXSW next year…twittering.

Friday, June 20, 2008

I Need a Drink Links!

MBA or MPA that is the question. I think I would learn towards an MBA, but that’s just me. Or not go to school…

Are you part of the nonprofit tech community? I am. Sorta.

Is the economy hurting donations?

Midwest Teen Sex is brilliant

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wearing Nonprofit Love on Your Sleeve

What better way to show support of your favorite nonprofit then by sporting their tee? This seemingly simple form of marketing can mean big bucks and a ton of exposure for the nonprof if the “look” catches on.

Here are my top 5 best nonprofit tees at the moment:

1. A lil’ old, yes, and somewhat of a questionable success, Gap’s (Product) RED tee is still one of my faves. I like the look, and dig the cause.

2. This vintage style WWF tee has two things going for it: It features its incredibly cute and recognizable panda logo and is being sold at trendy stores such as Urban Outfitters and Delias.

3. I see this To Write Love on Her Arms tee everywhere. I didn’t even know it was associated with a nonprofit until I looked it up (not sure what that says about the tee). Regardless, I still like the look.

4. An oldie but goody- this Rock the Vote tee makes me reminiscent to the time when I trusted politicians.

5. I just had to throw in a tee from PETA- this one has been spotted on everyone from Paul McCartney to me. Simple, cute, and not aggressive.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

30 Days PETA Episode

Marketing riddle: How can you get the attention of millions of eyeballs on your nonprofit for one full hour for free? Answer: Get yourself on a hit reality TV show.

Granted, if you are not the sort of nonprofit that might bring some drama into the mix, then reality shows might not be banging down your door to get you on their show. But if you are say PETA, that’s another story…

Tonight on Morgan Spurlock’s award winning show 30 Days, a hunter named George spends a month living with a co-worker of mine named Melissa and her all vegan family. In my very biased opinion, it was amazing. Don’t believe me? Mr. Spurlock himself said that this was one of the most compelling hours of television he has ever watched.

So check it out! It airs tonight on FX at 10:00 PM EST. And if you are a nonprofit- start bringing the drama!

P.S. The man in the middle is George.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Links Friday! (because I need a drink)

Since since the air conditioner broke at work today, and I really want to get out and enjoy the lovely weather with drink in hand- today (and maybe every Friday) will hereby be known as "Links Friday" (aka "Lara Wants a Margarita So Here's a Fast Blog Friday").

So here are things I found interesting in nonprofit marketing today:

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Why Did the Pig Say Woof?

Because peta2 wanted to draw the comparison between pigs and dogs! Check out my latest project for peta2's summer campaign called Woof! Think About It. It is pretty amazing if I do say so myself!

My favorites elements of the site are the Video, the Quiz, the User Generated Photos, and the pig!

Think About It!

Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I Love Shoes- And I Will Click On Their Ads

Last night I was deterred from my online Father's Day present shopping when I saw an ad for TOMS Shoes. As I am intrigued by all things cute shoe related, I clicked on it.

What I found was a pretty interesting company that donates one pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair of shoes purchased. The site was also pretty pleasing to the eye, and contained a bunch of fun user generated content.

I especially loved their "Upload a picture with your TOMS" feature.

Love it! Love the site in general. Hate the fact that I couldn't buy their shoes because they weren't vegan.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Perez Hilton’s Daily Worthwhile Causes- No “Paint” on These!

I have a confession to make. I love Perez Hilton. Not only do I love his celeb bashing ways, I truly respect his self-marketing genius. Case in point: he has one of the most popular blogs in the world; does guest appearances on MTV; and even has a new clothing line for Hot Topic.

I also love the fact that he bashes fur-wearers every chance he gets, and is now featuring a daily Worthwhile Cause to promote the various nonprofits he supports.

Among the nonprofits Perez has featured are: The National Domestic Violence Hotline, LifeWorks, and First Book.

I wonder if nonprofits pitch themselves to Perez to be featured as the Worthwhile Cause of the day just like sketchy publicists pitch the raunchy things their clients partake in? If they were smart they would!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Trendhunter's Top 40 Publicity Stunts

It's great to see that along with Honda, The Discovery Channel, and Abercrombie and Fitch, a few non-profits made Trendhunter Magazine's Top 40 Publicity Stunts including:

PETA (but of course) and their naked meat tray demo

The Truth's body parts in garbage cans display

The Health Promotion Switzerland Foundation's “Every Fifth Child is Overweight” stickers


World Vision's life size stickers of children on automatic revolving doors in Amsterdam

Can you guess which one is my favorite?

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Monsters- The New Hottness

I've said it before, and I'll say it again- monsters are what's hot. That's why I have high hopes for Playnormous. Playnormous is a new (still in beta) online community geared towards teaching kids (and their parents) about health, and yep- it features a ton of monsters (the cute kind, not the scary kind).

When fully up-and-running, Playnormous will feature: games, animations, chat, blog for the parents, and avatars.

The site reminds me a lot of Moshi Monsters, but for for a good cause.

Someone has put a lot of time, talent, and money into this project- if anyone finds out "who"-drop me a line.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


Which non-profit has the best tagline? Vote here.

These are the taglines I picked as "Excellent":

Join for the swords, stay for the friends.--Historic Entertainment

Ideas into Action, Action into Service--American University

Starve Fear. Feed Hope.--National Eating Disorders Organization

It's a Moving Experience!--Museum of Transportation

Corny Yet Memorable --Lara

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Get Your Smokey On?

Smokey Bear got a makeover today. The Advertising Council in conjunction with USDA Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters (NASF), unveiled its latest PSA starring the widely recognized bear who really, really hates forest fires.

Check out the new PSA here.

I think it missed its mark just a bit. If their target audience was young adults, I think it would have been better for them to bring back the vintage Smokey to make it kitschy cool instead of reinventing him and ending up looking like they were trying to hard. Besides, the bear voiceover was just plain odd.

Long story short- bring back the old Smokey!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Warped Tour- Marketing To The Kids

This summer, I will be heading out for a short stint on the Van’s Warped Tour as part of my marketing job at peta2. When I tell this to people, I always get the same reply: Why?

It is quite simple really, peta2 goes on Warped Tour (and a variety of other music tours, festivals, and events), because our target audience is going to be there. Not really rocket science.

When peta2 started attending Warped six years ago, we were among the few non-profits. Now, Warped Tour has quite a large presence of non-profs setting up shop including: Truth, Invisible Children, and Skate4Cancer.

Each non-profit uses a variety of creative tactics to get their message out including: squirt guns, stickers, contests, music, mist tents, band signings, and more.

I will let you know how it goes this year! Hopefully I will not get as sunburned as I did last year.