Donate the Bars

by J. Walter Thompson - São Paulo

Seeing media opps where no media’s been seen before.

Most of the Brazilian health NGOs that are part of the Atados hub can’t afford media space for their charities. To get support for their good works, they needed a good dose of invention.

JWT São Paulo noticed that one in six videos uploaded to YouTube has useless black bars on either side, usually because it’s shot the ditzy way, with a cellphone held upright instead of horizontally.

Instead of a waste of space – what most of us would see – JWT saw opportunity. They saw free digital billboards.

JWT created a website through which users could upload their vertical video, choose an NGO, and upload the package to YouTube carrying the NGO’s message on the side-panels. “Donate the Bars” was born.

With fifty-plus global NGOs in the project, the impact was immediate: 615,000 hours donated, over 12 million impressions, $1.2 million dollars in earned media.
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