We witnessed one of the best marketing strategies we have seen in decades, and it is interesting and ironic that the business that benefitted from it is a non-profit. We watched news anchors, superstars, sports figures, and our neighbors get doused with icy cold water on live TV and on video. Our Facebook pages were filled with our shrieking friends, and we half hoped that we wouldn't be challenged and have to suffer the frozen splash, and half hoped that we weren't so friendless that we wouldn't be challenged at all!
This concept of doing something uncomfortable to raise awareness and money for charity is not new. We have run races for cures, biked across America, and plunged into polar waters to raise cold cash. What is making this different – and so successful – is two things: the challenging of three others, and the use of technology, as in social media and videos, to spread the word.
In media, we have often called ourselves the biggest word-of-mouth platform. Our personalities sample ice cream, see the movies before they officially open, and drive dealership cars because it is known that we are decision influencers. We tell our viewer and listener “friends” about all the great products, post them on our websites, and if it fills a need – like the laugh we get as we watch the humiliation of seeing someone we know pelted with ice cubes – it is a successful campaign. The smile brought to so many faces coupled with the over 110 million dollars raised for ALS would certainly classify this summer’s fad as successful!
So let’s do it again. Let’s use our media power to have some fun and do some good. After watching my friends and family stoically do their duty this summer, I wanted to do something that didn’t include personal pain and/or suffering. PROFESSIONAL — yes! Personal — been there done that. I also want to help organizations that help others. But mostly, I want to see how strong television, radio, and marketing can be.
Here is the challenge:
- Run five PRIME TIME spots/PSAs/remote cut ins — whatever works for you — for your local food bank or food drive.
- If you cannot or will not, you must fill a grocery bag with food and give it to said food bank or food drive, or donate a minimum of $20.
- Call out three of your media friends across the country to do the same, (the best ideas are, after all, usually borrowed from somewhere). They have 24 hours to accept your challenge and a week to get it done. You can have fun with this. For example, challenge a friendly competitor that you know is sold out in prime time.
- If more than one person at one station is called out, run five PRIME TIME spots per person. It is called a campaign, and works quite well (yes, that is sarcasm).
- Get creative with how you show your support and call out your friends. Post on this blog (or send to me) a picture of the traffic order, a remote at a grocery store, a video of a meeting with your local food bank, a creative spot, or anything that shows you have completed the challenge. If you aren’t in media and want to join in, here is your chance to get creative about what you do based on the business you are in. This, my friends, is where the fun comes in.
I chose the local food bank organization because as a ground floor organizer of the Harvest II Food Drive in Wichita, Kansas, I know of the needs that can be met and the people that can be helped. I wanted something that will benefit your communities across the country. As a practical matter, I am betting most of you in media have PSAs or spots already in house for a fall food drive or food bank push that you can plug into prime time.
I will help! I will repost anything done by my friends or anyone I see. We will post pictures on the Efficio Solutions website and Facebook page (so don’t forget to tag your pix!), and I am officially starting the campaign by practicing what I preach. As I am no longer at a station, so don’t have airwaves to run the five PRIME spots, I have happily filled a grocery bag with food and have donated it to Harvest Home.
As I live in a virtual world in my work with my media friends, I also donated through my local Harvest Home’s online drive. And I will use my personal and professional social media platforms and websites to shout out to those of you who accept this challenge. I was going to post a video of a sackful of canned goods being poured over my head, but clearer heads prevailed over one with lumps and stitches this time.
Let’s go! I call out Greenville/Spartanburg TV seller Emily Cox; Efficio clients Ed Dorsey with Alpha Media Hagerstown, Nicole Ovadia with Emmis New York, and Greg Slovic with Earls Branson, my BFF Jeff Husted with the Kansas City T-Bones, and my Efficio family.
Don’t be hurt if I didn’t tap you on the shoulder this time. With the one degree of separation in our business, I am betting your turn will come, or, you can jump right in! YOU only have to call out three, but I tend to go big or go home. I know all my media friends know media friends who know more media friends. Get creative, send your pix to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and watch our Facebook page and website – if I hear about it, you will hear about it. Let’s start this fall’s greatest campaign!
By Kitty Malone, Efficio Solutions Manager of Client Services
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