Friday, March 21, 2008

Less is More with Transparent Billboards

I love great marketing, particularly when it’s someone who does something both new and elegant and creates an attention grabbing campaign. The marketing idea behind this is brilliant. Amnesty International must have considered (rightly, I suspect) that people would care more about things happening around the world if they could imagine them happening where they live.

The marketers then had a brilliant production idea. Make the billboards transparent, other than the central image. By doing that simple thing, it would look like the activity was happening right on the street in that neighborhood. Genius. Take a look at this campaign, called “It’s not happening here, but it is happening.”

Amnesty 1
Amnesty 3Amnesty 4Amnesty 2

Amnesty 5

I originally put this post on my company blog, at

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

My Brother Starts His 3V Volcano Climb

UPDATE: Yes, he survived. Actually did the three volcanoes in about 34 hours, which he pointed out to me is less than 2 days, not three days. He also said he was surprised at how hard it was and how often they climbed hunched over on slippery, gravelly footing.
As of right now, they raised over $75,000 to the Smith Foundation. Thanks for letting my digress from the marketing discussion briefly, and thanks for donating!

Original Post
Thanks to those of you who donated to my brother's fundraiser. As of today, he starts the climbs. Three volcanoes in three days. I'll let you know how he does.

Just saw that he was featured in Village Voice of Australia. (Who knew they had a Village Voice down under?) He's the one on the right. They're still taking donations if you've got a soft spot for disadvantaged kids with cool Aussie accents.

Here's the text:

Three Vaucluse locals are undertaking a tough task this week - climb three volcanoes in 36 hours.

What started as a fundraising idea among the neighbours has turned into a full-scale excursion to New Zealand's North Island where Paul Tobin, Michael Brial and Mark Patterson have set themselves a gruelling challenge.

The driving force behind the adventure is Paul Tobin, chairman of Aussie Farmers Direct, a food home delivery business.

"We decided to do it as a fundraiser - the 3V Challenge - and set a goal of raising $100,000 for The Smith Family, which will help 300 disadvantaged Australian children get the most out of their education.

"We have about $60,000 raised, but would appreciate any donations to this cause through," Mr Tobin said.

While the trio does not have any mountaineering experience, they have been in solid training for a few weeks and are all fit and determined.

They will scale Mount Tongariro, Mount Ngauruhoe and Mount Ruapehu - two of which are active volcanoes - on March 13 and 14, and aim to get as close to the summits as possible.

Mr Tobin hopes they will make it an annual event. He stressed they were funding their own trips, and that all donations would go to The Smith Family.

Stephen Gallagher, the charity's national event manager, said there are 700,000 disadvantaged children in Australia, and that 27,000 of them are students now receiving financial support from The Smith Family.