Ad Love: Apple’s The Human Family

Building on Apple’s “Shot on iPhone” the company recently released,”The Human Family,” a new spot with Maya Angelou narrating.

The structure is simple, and reminiscent of a wedding montage against a white background, photos and videos of different faces and families—of all colors, sizes, ages and orientations—flicker by, with the credit of each iPhone photographer underneath.

The spot debut last Friday during the Opening Ceremonies of the Rio Olympics. It’s already gone live across Apple’s social media channels and on the website, where a full subsite is devoted to the “Shot on iPhone” campaign.

I *heart*:

Ad Love: Sign Their Yearbook

Right now, young people are busy with all of the fun and festive formalities that come with the close of a school year: class rings, proms and signing yearbooks. Some may never get to experience any of these things as their lives were taken too soon at the hands of gun violence. That’s the focus of, “Sign Their Yearbook,” a sobering initiative from New Yorkers Against Gun Violence.

The online “yearbook,” which went live last week, also serves as a petition; those signing signal their support for universal criminal background checks for people attempting to purchase firearms. (In 38 states, it is legal to buy guns without submitting to such scrutiny.) After 30 days, the petition—in the form of a handsomely printed physical yearbook—will be submitted to the U.S. Senate, where measures to tighten gun laws have previously failed.

This campaign is brilliant. Check out the ad, which gave me chills and be sure to sign the book:

 

Ad Love: CVS and #BetheFirst

Drugstore giant CVS Health and its foundation plan to spend $50 million over five years to bolster anti-smoking efforts with a particular emphasis on young people.

The company recently announced plans to fund Be The First, a campaign that draws its colloquial inspiration from a goal to form the first generation of Americans to spurn tobacco.

The push comes more than a year after CVS stopped selling cigarettes, saying that smoking conflicts with its mission of promoting healthy living. CVS and the CVSHealth Foundation will share the costs of the campaign. Be The First will emphasize education programs, social media and marketing initiatives through groups such as the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Scholastic Inc., the American Cancer Society and the National Urban League.

Cigarettes and secondhand smoke cause cancer and other preventable diseases.

CVS set several concrete goals for the five-year campaign: cutting the national youth smoking rate by 3%, reducing the number of new youth smokers by 10% and doubling the number of college campuses that ban tobacco usage.

Check it out:

It’s Lit (thanks to Akon).

One of the first celebrity philanthropic projects I worked on was over a decade ago under the helm of Senegalese -American R&B singer, Akon. It was with the Konfidence Foundation which concentrates its efforts in Senegal and West Africa to empower individuals, communities and nations.

It’s great to see that he’s still dedicated to doing great work.

Recently, Akon launched an ambitious project to provide millions of Africans with electricity through a groundbreaking solar power initiative: Solar Academy. The academy, scheduled to open in the Mali capital of Bamako, will train locals to install and maintain solar-powered equipment.

The Solar Academy is under the umbrella of the singer’s Akon Lighting Africa (ALA) initiative, launched in 2014 to bring solar power to Africans who currently live off the grid. Akon’s ALA initiative, in partnership with Give1Project and ADS Global Corporation SA, has already provided solar power to more than 1 million households. ALA has installed solar-powered streetlights in more than 11 countries on the continent.

The initiative includes installing solar-powered streetlights and residential solar systems in African villages, as well as solar tailored equipment in households. There are an estimated 600 million people in Africa who live without electricity.  Twenty-five African countries are experiencing an energy crisis, according to the World Bank.

Take a look:

#GivingTuesday is Back.

You’ve probably already saved your coins for Black Friday and, if you’re ambitious, you’ll be out and about spending them before you’ve even digested your turkey dinner. Whatever you do, save a few for #givingtuesday.

Set for December 3rd, Giving Tuesday is a daylong national effort to help charities raise money online during the holiday shopping season. Last year, the first Giving Tuesday drew donations to about 2,600 nonprofits.  GiveTuesday_700x

This year, in order to help even more non-profits get prepared for the big day, I thought it would be best to share a cheat sheet recently posted by Network for Good. Here goes:

1. Sign up. Registered 501(c)3 organizations can visit GivingTuesday.org to become an official partner organization and find ways to get involved.

2. Set a clear goal. Figure out what you want to accomplish on #GivingTuesday and set a goal that you can measure.

3. Get your emails and social media updates ready.  Craft a few emails to rally your supporters to give along with their peers on December 3. Use social media to keep the excitement going and encourage fans to spread the word. You can join the conversation by using hashtag #GivingTuesday.

4. Make it easy for your supporters to give. Create clear calls to action so donors don’t have to wonder what you want them to do. Then, remove all of the roadblocks to giving by streamlining your donation process and enabling your donors to give via mobile.

5. Make it easy for your supporters to share. Offer easy and ubiquitous social sharing options on your donation pages and content, along with pre-programmed updates that your community can share with their networks to inspire even more participation.

Ready to make #GivingTuesday your own? Here are some resources to help you make the most of this day of giving and connect with your supporters:

• Learn how to get the most out of #GivingTuesday from GreatNonprofits

• Check out the amazing Giving Day Playbook from the Knight Foundation.

•  HubSpot has posted 12 tips for amplifying your #GivingTuesday campaign.

• The folks at GivingTuesday.ca offer some great ideas for 6 super-simple social media campaigns.

• Find (and share) even more resources in John Haydon’s Ultimate #GivingTuesday Checklist.

Happy giving!

Tupac Keeps on Giving.

“Measure a man by his actions fully from the beginning to the end.” – Tupac Shakur

Recently Allhiphop.com highlighted the top ten charitable doings of the late Tupac Shakur. Here are a few that I absolutely loved reading about:

A Place called Home 

Tupac put together a benefit concert to help a growing non-profit organization, A Place Called Home, raise money for a new building. Founded in 1993, A Place Called Home is a safe haven in South Central LA where at risk youth are empowered to take ownership of the quality and direction of their lives through programs in education. More here.

Tupac Goes to the Prom 

Pac at Prom.

Pac at Prom.

A Tupac fan wrote a letter to his fan club, asking the late rapper to be her prom date. About a month later, Tupac showed up at her doorstep. He came inside the home and talked to her family and offered to purchase her prom dress & escort her to the dance. Before leaving her home, Tupac gave the family $1500. When her prom day came, Tupac arrived in a limo to pick up his fan. At the school function Tupac signed autographs, took photos, and even got on the dance floor with her for five songs before he left.

Tupac’s Partnership with J Cole 

He may not be here in the flesh, but his work continues on.
The Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation and J Cole’s Dreamville Foundation recently joined forces and started a youth book club in North Carolina. The first book read and discussed was, A Rose that Grew from Concrete. Tupac’s non-profit organization recently celebrated 15 years of serving the community. The center teaches vocal training, ballet, jazz, recording & engineering, theater and creative writing. The nonprofit is still spearheaded by Afeni Shakur. Other family members including Tupac’s sister are active volunteers and staff.

Get the full list on Tupac’s philanthropy here.

Why The Millennial Impact Report Matters

I have Millennial envy. It seems that although we Generation X’ers are busting our tails, working hard and giving back,  marketers could care less. But, I digress. Let’s get on to the results of Case Foundation’s recent Millennial Impact Report. 

Case has again partnered with next-gen thought leader and creative services agency, Achieve in support of their third annual Millennial Impact Report. The report identifies new findings using survey responses from more than 2,600 millennials. This year’s edition touches upon peer engagement, design, messaging, and what encourages millennials to act in the moment — and analyzes the data through the lens of how organizations can apply the information. connectinfograph

To date, more than 14,000 millennials have responded to the survey over the last four years — making it one of the most comprehensive and detailed reports of this generation on engagement.

Here are some key findings: 

#1: Cause vs. Organization

“Seventy-three percent of millennials surveyed volunteered for a nonprofit in 2012. Their motivations: More than three-quarters were passionate about the cause and 67 percent felt they could make an impact for the issue they cared about.”

When it comes to engaging with a nonprofit organization, the report revealed that millennials are drawn to the broader cause and issue — not the organization itself. This learning is critical for understanding how organizations can improve their approach to engagement. In particular, consider this framework when crafting messages, programs, or events with millennials. 

Takeaway #2: Did Your Organization Make the Cut?

“Millennials are highly selective about what organizations they follow in a crowded and noisy media landscape… Nearly half of respondents (48.8 percent) follow one to five organizations on social media.”

Despite the 24/7 flow of information, significant amount of time spent online, and near constant presence online for many millennials, the report confirms that most millennials actually only follow one to five organizations in social networks — even though they are hearing from so many more online. This emphasizes the need for tailored messaging so that when your content is seen by this influential audience it will have a better chance of resonating with them and breaking through the social media clutter.

Takeaway #3: Turn Every Opportunity into a Networking Opportunity

“Respondents tended to be more interested in intrinsic benefits such as networking (51 percent) and gaining professional expertise (61 percent) than intangible discounts or gifts (though they wouldn’t sneeze at free food!).”

This offers a good insight for anyone trying to rally a group to action or organize an activity around millennial involvement. In other words, frame the event or function around the opportunity to meet and work with others — specifically peers.

More of the report can be found here

 
 

@MTV and @catchafire Helps an NPO Tell its Tale

Years ago, I had the pleasure of working alongside of MTV’s very talented Public Affairs team as part of a strategic partnership I created between the infamous channel and the national, Americorps program, City Year. When I tell you, it was some of the most fun that I had in my career – I am being modest.

At the time, MTV was launching a new Facebook-like site in BETA called, “Think” and needed to test it out. City Year NY was having a huge brand awareness issue. It was a match made in heaven. The CYNY corps members ran the site through its paces and Think emerged bigger and better than ever. In turn, MTV allowed us to run our PSA on their jumbotron in Times Square for two consecutive days.  The activation increased brand awareness and return on recruitment. Further, it allowed for MTV to collaborate with the organization for future projects.

CY-in-TS1-1

CYNY Corps Members Take In The MTV Goodness.

Fast forward to 2013…

MTV and skilled volunteerism-match platform Catchafire partnered to find a nonprofit in need of a “makeover,” for which MTV would lend its expertise in marketing, branding and social media.

The idea originated with MTV President Stephen Friedman, who wanted to fully leverage MTV’s creative talent and storytelling capabilities to benefit an especially worthy nonprofit in a meaningful way. Catchafire issued a call for submissions and MTV chose to work with The Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO), a nonprofit that offers comprehensive job services to the previously incarcerated.

Nonprofits of varying missions and sizes applied for the opportunity to have MTV in house to revamp their marketing, communications and creative assets like videos and brochures. Catchafire helped identify and streamline interested nonprofits, and MTV ultimately had to choose one organization from the extensive candidate pool to work with.

Founded in 1996, CEO specializes in employment services for those released primarily from NY prisons / detention facilities – in the last decade CEO made more than 10,000 job placements. CEO’s mission and work really struck a cord with the MTV staff, as the brand’s pro-social strategy seeks to engage audiences and create conversations about critical issues like recidivism.

Inspired by the organizational vision and the staff’s commitment to create opportunities, MTV’s makeover team gained a lot from meetings, onsite visits, sitting in on job training classes and connecting with program participants.

This collaboration really inspired MTV and there is an appetite for more projects like this in the future. With skill matched volunteerism trending, employees at companies around the globe are looking for ways to give back and plug into organizations to make an impact.

Watch the video below:

What’s All Of The Chiming About?

For the past few days, I have been taking in news stories that feature glossy and celebrity packed images of Beyonce, her Boo and her buddies for the Sounds of Change concert to benefit the Chime for Change initiative. Not one of the stories has gone beyond the glitz to really explain what all of the chiming is about.

Shoot, even Beyonce’s website simply states, Chime for Change, founded by Gucci, is a new, global campaign focused on girls’ and women’s empowerment. It serves to convene, unite and strengthen voices speaking out for girls and women around the world, and to raise funds for non-profit organizations pursuing change.

She then directs to the Chime for Change Facebook page.

Girl Power?

Girl Power?

I did some more digging and found that even Gucci’s website doesn’t do a good job explaining what the campaign actually is or what the goals are.

Well after much research, I found out Sound of Change was broadcast to more than 150 countries across the world. Aside from raising over $4m, which will fund approximately 200 projects in 70 countries (please don’t ask which ones), the concert, attended by more than 50,000 people, was meant to put issues such as genital mutilation, domestic violence, maternal death and adult illiteracy on the news agenda.

Chime for Change was  founded by Gucci’s designer Frida Giannini, and her friends Beyoncé and Salma Hayek, focuses on improving education, health and justice for women around the world.

Besides Beyoncé,  Jessie J, Rita Ora, Haim, Ellie Goulding, Jennifer Lopez and Florence Welch took to the stage to champion the cause. Other celebrity endorsements came from Madonna, Katy Perry, Halle Berry, Jada Pinkett Smith, Julia Roberts, Gwyneth Paltrow and Cameron Diaz, who all are featured in videos explaining why they support the movement, making Chime for Change seem like a grown-up version of girl power.

I ask: What about the organizations involved? The programming? How can people really be inspired to change things beyond ‘liking’ pictures and then downloading a popstar’s latest single?

I can’t help but feel that a huge opportunity to truly engage people beyond a donation or a concert was and is sorely missed here. But, I will assume that there will be plenty more chiming on the way and I just might be proven wrong.