Friday, February 15, 2013

four ways charity:water gets it

We've enthused about charity:water in these pages before.

They just seem to 'get' communications much more than most.

And as we've noted before they are without doubt the poster child of the not-for-profit world, but the lessons for any brand in any category are there for sure.

This video landed in my inbox this morning.

A 'thank you - we love you' message to supporters for Valentines Day.

It probably cost buttons to produce.

And there's a few reasons why this is so great.

1. Fun.

They fundamentally understand that in order to attract supporters (and move behaviour) it needs to look like a good idea. One of my oft repeated quotes on behaviour change comes from Ed Gillespie of sustainability agency Futerra.

Ed says: 'If you want to subvert the dominant paradigm, you have to have more fun than they are, and let them know while you’re doing it'.

2. Likability.

Amongst all the advertising bollocks we talk a vastly under-rated factor in the success of any communications is basic likeability. The affect heuristic if you prefer. When posed a difficult question - Shall I donate or support charity:water? - We [our system one] responds with an easier answer to a different question - Do I like these people?.

Looking at this clip that features the people who work for the organisation, we just like them.

And, of course, look at the message. THEY LIKE US, TOO.

3.Social proof.

In any conditions of uncertainty - will I? won't I? - we'll take our cues from what we see others around us doing. It doesn't have to be anyone we know or a recommendation from a friend or expert (though this works too) just the general sense of something happening. It's popular. So the charity:water workers calling out the individuals and groups who have helped demonstrates that this is a popular thing.

It's catching on. Momentum.

4. Shareability.

Of course, if I'm one of the supporters being thanked then I'm going to show this to other people. It sends a signal as to the kind of person I am.

Here's another revenue idea for charity:water.

Start an advertising agency and plough the profits into the projects.

They would clean up.

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