How often do you look at an ad and say, “What in the world?”
Sure, these campaigns are memorable, although, I will argue, not for any other underlying reason than ridiculous imagery. Milling around the Internet about three weeks ago, I came across a social media campaign put together by the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago. Not paying much attention at first, I read about the campaign just as I typically would, expecting to hear of yet another “brilliant” ad concept put together by “forward thinking” professionals. Then, curiosity got the best of me. What is this Every 80 Seconds site…and wait…this ad needs to access my Facebook account to even work? That’s a big risk they’re taking. Now they’ve got my attention.
After going to www.every80seconds.com, a series of happy home video clips greeted me: a wedding, a kid swinging, a dog jumping into the air with snow spraying everywhere as he catches a tennis ball. And then this:
I was prompted to use Facebook Connect for the 30-second advertisement.
Then I sat frozen to the screen as, one by one, a creeping flame proceeded to singe and ruin randomly selected photos from my Facebook account. Right there in front of me, I watched my family and friends erased from some of my most treasured experiences. In the background, a convicting and eerie electric guitar melody amplified the experience as the strip culminated into one final slide:
FORTUNATELY, YOU CAN HELP.
The Red Cross of Greater Chicago did something here. They took interaction to a whole new level and finally were able to breach the us vs. them barrier that we often unconsciously raise when confronted with advertising or marketing messages. This ad struck my emotional core, but not by preaching sympathy; it made me the victim. Instead of sympathy, I now felt a profound sense of empathy for all of my fellow survivors of house fires.
If that’s not the best way to get me to donate, I don’t know what is.
Try it for yourself here. I’d love to know what you think. Feel free to comment below.