Easier Said Than Done: Abstract Art or Fundraising?
But donations to help? I wouldn't bet on it.
The fair question to ask is this: Why would anybody do that kind of advertising? Answer: It's a way for ad agencies to pad their portfolios and win awards. Sadly, you can — they sometimes do — win awards with work like this. The cost, though, is millions of dollars worth of wasted opportunity.
Like we see here …
Thirty-second TV spot. Scene: Brightly colored ?stick-figure people zoom past the camera and fade in the distance. A familiar voice with a thick, provincial British accent starts, "Imagine every child, no matter where in the world they were, could access a universe of knowledge." The stick people begin to resolve into the image of a face … John Lennon! Imagine! I get it! John urges us to change the world, the way he tried to do with his music. The final seconds display a Web address.
Whatever else you might say about this spot, you have to recognize the accomplishment of working through the legal thicket of permissions to use the face and voice of Lennon. Good show, legal department! But getting Yoko to say yes doesn't move you one inch closer to motivating other people to action.
John Lennon might be the coolest human of the last hundred years. But even he has to be specific and emotional to get people to respond with donations. Even John has to tell them what you want them to do, and why; be clear and compelling. (I bet he would, too, given the chance.)
But the ad agency guys? They're allergic to the ?specific and obvious. Those things don't stand a chance with the awards judges, who want the edgy, clever, obtuse and unusual — not the literal and straightforward. So the ad guys stay as far away from specificity as they can get.