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Charity starts at the fifty-yard line.

27 October 2010 No Comment

Is the NFL ‘pink’ campaign worth it?

Probably. The NFL fan base is huge. And even though breast cancer awareness is already quite high, it’s always good to bring more attention to something that kills over 40,000 Americans each year.

But do the methods work? Or do they actually distract from the message? Are people so focused on the pink shoes and other accessories that they don’t think about the broader meaning? I had to go to the NFL website to find out that the goal of the campaign was to stress the importance of annual screenings.

Now, I’ve heard quite a few people say how they love all the NFL is doing. But how many could honestly say they know the stated goal of the campaign?

So, how do you raise awareness for such important issues in a way that generates a similar level of appreciation, but with messaging that really accomplishes something meaningful?

It’s no different than advertising for any other client, really. First and foremost, you need to be sure you don’t fall in love with your idea so much that you think you can skimp on the execution. Make a splash, but don’t be afraid to bore people with a few details. Your audience can handle it.

It can be done. It just might take more work. And that’s a challenge our industry should be eager to tackle.

It seems that in the era of social media, corporations and other large entities could become huge players in the charity business, without putting up huge dollars. The PR benefits would be great and they’d be doing a great thing.

The juxtaposition of rough and tough football players against the pink, feminine story of breast cancer is a big part of the NFL campaign’s appeal. Show something in a new light and people will notice.

What are some other intriguing pairings?

What if Oprah became a prostate cancer ambassador? How about Apple in support of colon cancer? Or perhaps they team up with Microsoft to tackle leukemia?

There are countless possibilities. And in an era where distrust of large institutions is high and government’s don’t have the budgets to face all of these challenges, it just makes sense.

Anyone interested in helping to make it happen?

- TJ Bennett

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