Saturday, June 22, 2013

football's not a matter of life or death. It's much more important than that.

Whatever the view from outside the ad industry is on the Cannes festival - an overblown self-congratulatory extravagance is a popular take - for those of us within the industry it's a chance to get a broad look at what has been happening in other parts of the world in one big chunk, and evaluate what we do in our respective markets against the best of others.

This year's Promo Grand Prix was awarded to Ogilvy Brazil, Sao Paolo, for their organ donation campaign using football team Sport Club Recife.

As a behavioural economics geek this one obviously appealed as it capitalises on a simple human psychology insight.

Making arrangements to donate one's organs is not at the top of most people's to-do list so by attaching the desired behaviour - carrying a donor card - to something that is at the top of the list; ie supporting your football team (Brazilian football fans are among the most passionate and partizan in the world) then the new behaviour can be achieved more easily, as a nudge, and without all that effortful thinking that we like to avoid.

And, at the same time, it removes one of the biggest barriers to organ donation - getting after the fact next of kin authorisation for the deceased's organs to be used.

Or like Bill Shankly famously observed - 'Football is not a matter of life or death. It's much more important than that.

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