World’s shortest stupid nonprofit ad

This will probably be annoying. Pardon the mess. If you want to see this stupid nonprofit ad for the OC Foundation, you're going to have to click it over and over and over again.

Written by
Jeff Brooks
Added
May 14, 2014

Of course, it's that way on purpose. You see, it's a concept, one of those almost brilliant, yet incredibly stupid ideas that’s somehow supposed to bring crowds of supporters to a nonprofit.

Good luck with that. Here you go. If you have some time on your hands.


Yes. it's a frustrating experience, so I'll save you the trouble. The video is a text screen that says:

For some people, performing simple actions repeatedly is an everyday matter. But this is just one of the issues people with obsessive compulsive disorder have to deal with.

Get more familiar with OCD at www.ocfoundation.org

Get it? The idea is that you have to click it over and over. Sort of the way people with OCD are compelled to do things over and over. Of course, you had to do it because of a stupid concept. You could stop as soon as you got fed up. Someone with OCD is compelled to repeat their actions – and they can't just stop. Your multi-clicking experience is nothing like theirs. In fact, you've just minimised their experience, and likely have less understanding and empathy than before.

Why this is supposed to make viewers into supporters of the OC Foundation is beyond me, especially with a call to action like ‘get more familiar with OCD’. Get more familiar?

I should note that to their credit, the Foundation apparently has nothing to do with this project.

There are clues to what the point of all this is at a short, self-congratulatory video about the project by the makers. It notes that:

With a 0$ budget (literally), we were able to pass the experience on to tens of thousands of viewers

And achieved a massive online coverage.

Well, maybe not so much. When I viewed it, the YouTube views count less than 100,000 viewers. Of course, that's coming from viewers who may have watched it five, 10, or more times in their effort to see what it was about.

And that ‘massive online coverage’? The websites shown are all ad-industry sites. Not normal people spreading word-of-mouth about something that matters to them, but fanboys talking about a cool ad concept. (The fanboys love this one.)

It’s not easy to help people understand an illness they don't have. It's even harder to move them from understanding to caring to taking action.

But here's a hint for anyone facing this challenge: Clever abstraction don’t get you there. Real stories of human realities are the path to follow.

About the author: Jeff Brooks

Jeff Brooks

Jeff Brooks has served the nonprofit community for more than 30 years, working as a writer and creative director on behalf of a variety of organisations including CARE, World Vision, Feeding America, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, National Wildlife Federation, and many more. He blogs at Future Fundraising Now and Moceanic. In previous careers, he’s been an English teacher and a classical musician. He lives in Seattle in the USA.

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