By Kyleen McNicholas
Amid this $127 billion dollar industry, I think we would all agree that every once in awhile it is nice to see when an agency creates a truly great pro bono campaign. Every agency has both the potential and ability to use their powers for good and try to give back to the community. However, in the past few years only a handful of agencies in the U.S. have produced work for charitable organizations that really stands out in terms of campaign creativity and effectiveness. Agencies that have include Draftfcb and TBWA.
Draftfcb Chicago’s most recent creation was a campaign entitled The Shelter Pet Project. The campaign was produced for The Ad Council, collaborating with The Humane Society of theU.S.and Maddie’s Fund. The idea for the campaign stemmed from the fact that while 76% of people say their next pet will come from a pet shelter, only 29% of people actually follow through. With that in mind, Draftfcb’s goal for the campaign was, “to encourage more people to consider a shelter as the first place to look when getting a ‘new best friend.'” The campaign consisted of three TV spots each featuring either a dog or a cat with a human voice-over. In the spots, the animals poke fun at the “usual” conventions of the everyday human lifestyle (including cleaning up pet toys, constant teen texting and kids playing in a sandbox).
Also on the list of our top pro bono producing agencies is TBWA. In December of 2010, TBWA released a campaign entitled Digital Death. The purpose of the campaign was to raise money and awareness for those affected by HIV and AIDS. By ending the digital lives of celebrities (such as Kim Kardashian, Justin Timberlake, Ryan Seacrest and Usher) on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, TBWA was able to inspire people to donate money in order to “buy their lives back.”
While the amount of pro bono work done by agencies steadily declines, it serves to restore our faith in the industry when we see great campaigns put out by major agencies such as Draftfcb and TBWA. Additionally this type of work serves to benefit our industry by allowing us to see what people are truly capable of creating.