With the countdown to the festive season well under way I thought I would share a few Christmas campaign videos I have seen recently. It’s ludicrous how much money is spent at Christmas time and I think this has been epitomised by the latest Disneyfied, Lily Allen singing John Lewis Advert that cost £7 million. Sure, it’s a beautifully made animation, but spending £7 million to encourage us to buy more STUFF (see the Canadian Red Cross video below) when people in the Philippines are desperate for aid.
Please send me any more examples of Christmas Charity Videos that you think are worth adding. Ho ho ho.
Save the Children UK>
Rudolph vs Donkey
Save the Children – Christmas Sessions
Canadian Red Cross – The Spirit of the Holidays
H&M Sweden Christmas Charity Campaign
Save the Children – Jack Topping
WaterAid> – The Les Mis Ensemble
Nice and Serious – Kids Reinvent Santa’s Sleigh
Nice and Serious – 12 Days of Sustainable Xmas Song
Today I read a journal article Development Made Sexy: how it happened and what it meanswritten by Cameron and Haanstra (2008). The article argues that the way in which NGOs represent the global South and development are hugely important in the construction of social power relations between people in the global North and the global South.
The ‘pornography of poverty’ approach has dominated fundraising communications for decades, and to some extent still does. I have interviewed several large NGOs in the UK and many confess to wanting to change their narratives, but are nervous due to clear management data that proves ‘poverty porn’ still works when it comes to donations. The article critiques a seemingly new form of ‘sexy development communication’ with some obvious negative impacts such as objectification, exploitation and oversimplification.
What are the downfalls of both these strategies in raising public awareness of development issues in the North? The paper doesn’t really offer a solution, but suggests in it’s conclusion that an alternative approach could be humour, which has been recently used in successful campaigns such as Greenpeace’s Mr Splashy Pants.
I’ve recently written a lot about video and today took part in the shortlisting panel for a new video award from Africa for Norway. Inspired by the article and shortlisting process I decided to share (in no particular order) some of my favourite ‘funny development videos’ .
I have always been interested in how videos can be used to promote international development. In my opinion a lot of development organisations waste money on producing videos, not thinking about their audience or the message and failing to seed it via social media and other digital channels.
Saying that there are a number of brilliant videos out there. Here is my Top 10
1. WaterAid – 1 in 3 women
This chilling video is so effective and talks directly to a western audience. Many people have no idea that millions and millions of people do not have access to sanitary facilities. This video makes that point very clearly. I’m surprised it has only around 5,000 views.
2. Invisible Children – Kony 2012
I’m not a huge fan of this video, but no one can doubt it’s phenomenal success as a “vital video”. It’s been debated to death so I won’t comment here – see my earlier blog if you are interested in a critique. If for some reason you haven’t watched it – please be patient and watch all 29 minutes. Apart from the oversimplification of the storytelling, my other big criticism is that they have turned off the comments.
3. Mismanagers Folliers – Development Boy
Very professionally executed and so catchy. A great parody. I haven’t been able to get the song out of my head for the last 2 weeks, which is why it gets such a high position in my “chart”.
4. Oxfam – Pregnant women dancing in London
A staged flashmob to highlight the dangers of pregnancy and birth around the world. I also love breakdancing. Not personally, just as a spectator. Are they pregnant or aren’t they?