Osocio NL
image of an Ear


New! Background, theory, interviews and cases on non-profit advertising and marketing for social causes.

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Strategy: Laughing Our Way to a Better World

Posted by Marc van Gurp | 12-05-2013 21:30 | Academy | Category: Social Marketing, Strategy, Talks

Africa For Norway: Laughing Our Way to a Better World. Saih.

Africa For Norway was one of the highlights we wrote about last year. ‘The funniest campaign this year’ I said.
Being funny was the strategy Sindre Olav Edland-Gryt explained in the recently recorded TEDx talk in Barcelona.

It’s Radi-Aid vs Oh Dear.
“By turning the tables the spoof video has sparked a lot of debate and self-reflection in both media and development organization.”

Sindre Olav is Human Rights campaigner for Saih and africafornorway.com. He is a self-trained communication professional and wrote his master’s thesis on religion and development. One of Sindre’s mantras is why creativity and humor is key to getting people involved in the fight for human rights. He believes that the repeat portrayal of negative images often creates apathy and a feeling of hopelessness.

The TEDx talk from Sindre Olav:

Read more | Post comment (0)

Book Review: How Advertising Will Heal Your Business and the World

Posted by Monica Brasov-Curca | 2-08-2012 20:30 | Academy | Category: Corporate Social Responsibility, Online, Interviews, Talks


Author: Mark Woerde
Published May 2011
Publishing on Demand
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Free copy paperless copy at Letsheal.org

I became interested in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) a few years ago and was further intrigued after I attended “Conscience Capitalism” conference in 2011 at Bentley College just outside Boston, Massachusetts. There I learned a great deal from the likes of John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods and marketing guru Philip Kotler, things like aligning a brand with a good cause and finding a niche market for responsible advertising.  Yet for me there was something missing, it seemed the companies doing CSR were simply looking for a marketing strategy to attract a different target audience and thus expand their bottom line. They may have been looking to expand business to the healthy hipster type because it is where the money is.  The sad truth is however that but for a few, most did not have much to say about what it meant to actually “do good with your brand.”

More after the break…

Source: Interview with Mark Woerde and Book "How Advertising Will Heal the World and Your Business"

Read more | Post comment (0)

Talk: Craig Newmark on Building a Community of Trust

Posted by Ana Yoerg | 1-02-2012 22:31 | Academy | Category: Online, Social Media, Talks

In the movie Hot Tub Time Machine, John Cusack goes “back to the future” and discovers that his friend Lou has become incredibly wealthy due to a little search-engine-that-could that he aptly named “Lougle.” It’s a fun example of how an individual’s name can become a familiar household term based on a single choice to use that name in a product.

Can you think of another example of this? You got it—craigslist. In the States, craigslist is synonymous with connection. Hundreds of thousands of people utilize the ad-free website to find jobs, frisbee leagues, used furniture, and to barter their services. The founder of this incredible site is Craig Newmark, a self-professed nerd who has dedicated his life to customer service.


At the iStrategy conference on global digital marketing in San Francisco, Craig Newmark was not there to speak about his great invention. Rather, he wanted to talk about where he’s putting his energies now: craigconnects.

At first look, craigconnects seems to be a way for him to organize his personal efforts on giving back: military veterans, technology for good, and back-to-basics journalism. And right now, it is. But a few points that were brought up in his talk on how to build a community of trust provide a few hints as to the potential of his own model.

Read more | Post comment (0)

John Thackara: Design for things that matter

Posted by Marc van Gurp | 24-11-2011 20:35 | Academy | Category: Design, Talks

Lecture on the Department of Design’s introduction course for the new MA students “Wellbeing in the Age of Wicked Problems”. That was in Aalto in Finland.
The course was about the theme of wellbeing, the complex challenges and opportunities that design faces today and tomorrow. Design is now more thought as a strategic and public activity, where in the projects we recognise the needs of the other client, the humankind.

John Thackara is a writer, speaker and design producer, and director of Doors of Perception. He is blogger at Design Observer and he is the author of twelve books including In The Bubble: Designing In A Complex World and Wouldn’t It Be Great If….

Source: Aalto University MEDIA FACTORY

Read more | Post comment (0)

Exclusive interview with FEMEN’s founder, Anna Hutsol

Posted by Tom Megginson | 2-08-2011 12:31 | Academy | Category: Interviews, Talks

Anna Hutsol, the founder and leader of Ukraine's FEMEN movement

A few weeks ago, I contacted Anna Hutsol, the founder and leader of Ukraine’s FEMEN movement, for an interview via Facebook. It proved difficult, as Anna is not only extremely busy but we speak different languages and required the services of a translator.

FEMEN have risen from being a local protest group in Kiev, known for their use of nudity and street theatre to protest Ukrainian sex tourism, to an international phenomenon tackling issues such a nuclear power and Saudi bans on women driving. The frank sexuality of their protests have gained them worldwide media attention, and they continue to build social media solidarity with other activist groups through FEMEN - International Support Team (FIST). They even, famously, bullied Mark Zuckerberg into reinstating their Facebook account after it was removed due to all the topless posts.

This morning, I finally received my answers in broken English. Anna did not address all my questions, but she did provide some insights into FEMEN’s origins, its mission, and its future.

I have taken the liberty of “cleaning up” the English responses. (* I have also included the raw translations of answers following, in case there is any misunderstanding.)


OSOCIO: How was the idea of FEMEN first conceived?

Anna: It was not difficult, as everyone knows how many problems are here in Ukraine and as Ukrainian girls we feel that every day in our minds and bodies. So all we needed was to be brave enough to tell the world about it. That’s why we decided to show that women are protesting, and to use our bodies as weapon in the fight.

OSOCIO: Have your objectives changed since then?

Anna: Yes, we have added many objectives to our program. But like in the beginning we still demand to stop sex tourism and prostitution in Ukraine. We demand to
let women develop themselves.

OSOCIO: How do you respond to critics who say that topless protest objectifies women?

Anna: As young, simple Ukrainian girls, we believe in what we are doing,  and we know what we need to do to protect ourselves. FEMEN was trying different
ways of fighting and in our experience we understood that only radical things can change the situation. At this time, in this country, only radical women’s protest can shake the world of passive women.

More Q&As and pictures (nudity) after the break.

Source: FEMEN Movement

Read more | Post comment (0)

About Fearless & Common Revolution: Alex Bogusky

Posted by Tatjana Vukic | 7-03-2011 12:06 | Academy | Category: Interviews, Talks

It looks as if we are on a sure way to self-destruction. All the signs are pointing to it: climate change, environmental issues,  world hunger, water pollution, air pollution, insufficient drinking water for billions of people ... The list goes on and seems to grow longer every day.

At times even the most optimistic despair in light of all this. The major driving force of all these problems seems to be an almost ideological way of consumption, some already call ‚consumerism’.
We consume without thinking. We consume without a conscience.

Everybody is part of this, everybody consumes: food, clothing, devices and machines, energy … We use up a lot but don’t think much about it. We do not give a thought about what we consume, how we consume, if we do damage to ourselves, others, or the environment.
Are we really that unscrupulous or have we just become complacent, thinking we cannot change anything?

Alex Bogusky believes in the influence of the buyer, he sees revolutionary power with us, the shoppers. According to him, it is time to expect more from companies and brands.

He initiated the projects “FearLess” and “Common” to create a new agreement between consumers and corporations.

I spoke with Alex Bogusky about his projects, about the Fearless and the Common Consumer Revolution.


Source: The interview was published on SIBICA magazine

Read more | Post comment (0)

Emily Pilloton: Teaching design for change

Posted by Marc van Gurp | 20-11-2010 10:41 | Academy | Category: Design, Education, Talks

Osocio visitors who are familiar with social design know Emily Pilloton. She is founder of Project H, the project to help develop effective design solutions for people who need it most.
In 2009 Emily also wrote Design Revolution, a book about 100-plus objects and systems designed to make people’s lives better.

Earlier this year she spoke at TEDGlobal about her move to rural Bertie County, in North Carolina USA. She’s teaching a design-build class that engages high schoolers’ minds and bodies while bringing smart design and new opportunities to the poorest county in the state.
She strongly believe in these 6 assumptions and practice them all in Bertie Country:

  • Design through action
  • Design with, not for
  • Design systems, not stuff
  • Document, share and measure
  • Start locally, and scale globally
  • Build

More about the project in this article from Emily Pilloton at design mind.

Related post: Hippo Roller by Project H Design


Read more | Post comment (0)

Some rights reserved 2005-2013 Osocio/Houtlust.
Disclaimer. Terms of use. Privacy statement.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Support us

Do you like our blog? Support us with a donation.
We're non-commercial. We all make Osocio pro bono in our spare time and we can use some support.

Research thesis about social campaigns

The psychology, the semiotics, the rhetoric of visual communication

Read more

About Osocio

Osocio is dedicated to social advertising and non-profit campaigns. It’s the place where marketing and activism collide. Formerly known as the Houtlust Blog, Osocio is the central online hub for advertisers, ad agencies, grassroots, activists, social entrepreneurs, and good Samaritans from around the globe.
Read more

(the about page is also available in Bahasa Indonesia, Chinese 汉语/漢語, Deutsch, Español, Français, Italiano, Nihongo 日本語, Ivrit עברית, Filipino, Polski, Português, Russian Русский язык, Slovenčina, Suomi, Svenska and Türkçe)