Years ago, when working on Direct Response ads for clients, coupons in print ads and response cards in direct mailers were the order of the day. The success of the campaign depended on the response rate and whenever donations were involved – on the amount collected. I remember being told that response rates for ads seeking donation are likely to be higher if the ad asked for a specific amount (or higher) to be donated. Leaving things open-ended (‘donate generously’) didn’t have the same impact as asking for a specific amount. We have come a long way in terms of direct response – from television commercials to shopping channels plugging a phone number as a response device to digital marketing.
A new campaign to raise funds for Cine Las Americas is doing the rounds of ad blogs. The goal was to raise $50000 to ‘save the Cine Las Americas International Film Festival‘. An online campaign ad features video depicting a bank robbery; there are nine possible endings, based upon the amount the viewer donates. Even if people opt not to donate they have an option to watch an ending – but only if they shared the video on social networks. While all of us may not find the film riveting or to our tastes, the idea to engage viewers and ask for donation through an online campaign is interesting. The funds received have ‘exceeded expectations’.