Bad ads showcase

In this entertaining and informative showcase, Jeff Brooks, creative director of TrueSense marketing in the USA, and others will be highlighting the bad, the ugly and the very worst of fundraising adverts in the hope that we all can learn from the mistakes of others, as well as our own.

Brand cops mandate stupid Haiti ad

by Jeff Brooks

It would be best not to follow this example of fundraising for the disaster in Haiti. Or so Jeff Brooks thinks.

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Donor-centric but stupid? It’s possible

by Jeff Brooks

Sometimes a stupid nonprofit ad campaign has an odd little grain of smart in it, like this print ad campaign here on SOFII. Do you agree with Jeff Brooks when he says that it doesn’t quite make it, as a way to raise money?

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Making cancer cute

by Jeff Brooks

The ad agency has struck again with this strikingly stupid nonprofit ad. The victim...

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World’s shortest stupid nonprofit ad

by Jeff Brooks

Sorry if this series offends. It’s meant to provoke, challenge the blinkered and encourage improvement. And its author Jeff Brooks could have said, the world’s stupidest short nonprofit ad. It’s difficult to see how anyone imagined this ad would be a good idea. Well, actually, it’s difficult to see, period. As Jeff says, ‘Get real…’

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‘No sale’ video from Oxfam

by Tom Belford

I’m a sucker for online videos to deliver important messages and sell causes and charities. But this one from Oxfam is a ‘no sale’ as far as I’m concerned.

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A very angry anagram, nudge, nudge, wink, wink

Greenpeace poster

by Andrew Papworth

It is by no means unknown for me to be critical about Greenpeace’s advertising – particularly its tendency towards confrontational belligerence and its lack of any sense of humour.

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Storm ad that ignores humanity

by Jeff Brooks

If you want to unlock people’s philanthropy, says Jeff Brooks, don’t take the humanity out of your fundraising. Make sure your donors see who needs their help and what they can do.

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The ad that trivialises tragedy

by Jeff Brooks

Jeff Brooks has some more severe words for ad agencies and their questionable campaign creations for charities.

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Be womankind?

by Andrew Papworth

SOFII is all about celebrating and sharing great fundraising ideas so that we can all become a little more successful ourselves. But here Andrew Papworth, author of fundraising newsletter, Harvest, suggests that an Oxfam advert unveiled for International Women’s Day isn’t exactly top of the list to take fundraising notes from. What do you think?

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Nothing is stupid about this

Soup can

by Jeff Brooks

SOFII regular, Jeff Brooks has identified yet another stupid nonprofit advert. In this example he claims that what could have been an unusual, quirky and ultimately successful fundraising product was de-railed by the self-indulgence of its creators. Do you agree?

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Major contributors to this section

Jeff Brooks

Jeff Brooks, creative director at TrueSense Marketing, has served the nonprofit community for more than 20 years, working as a writer and creative director on behalf of a variety of organisations, including CARE, Bible League International, World Vision, Feeding America, World Relief and dozens of urban rescue missions and Salvation Army divisions. He blogs at Future Fundraising Now, podcasts at Fundraising is Beautiful and is a columnist forFundraising Successmagazine. In previous careers, he's been an English teacher and a classical musician. He lives in Seattle in the USA.

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Andrew Papworth

After a long career in advertising agencies, Andrew Papworth has been freelancing as an advertising and communications planner for about two decades.

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