Last year I wrote (And Reuben did too) a review about the Design Activists Handbook from Design Rebel and Osocio blogger Noah Scalin. A great book about the value of socially conscious design. Because designing for a better world is a little different than commercial design which only attempts to influence purchase decisions. socially conscious design seeks to connect us with other human beings. It’s in the field what we do at Osocio.
This is from our statement: “Social advertising has an uncanny power to make us stop, think and then take action to help a person, or a group of people, who we don’t even know, who might be from a foreign culture, living thousands of miles away.”
As a natural next step, Noah started an online course to bring theory into practice. With 10 videos you will learn to think like a designer and an activist. It’s about passion but also your audience. The audience and the associated message is crucial in effective design.
A great part of the course is the practical assignment. It is the place where you can present your work, share and discuss.
When your cat is your friend in the activist game this scratching post is something for you. There are two types available, Putin and Kim Jong-un, and both are unique, there is only one copy.
Both scratching posts were handcrafted by a team of artists and took over 200 hours each to complete and therefore not cheap: £4,500.
All money will be donated to charity according the the artists on their webshop.
For activists with a smaller purse there is also a £3.00 litter tray.
This seems off topic, it isn’t about a cause, person or organisation. It is about System Thinking, a concept for understanding and solving complex world problems, from climate change, to public health care, and beyond. Therefore it is very relevant for the world of social marketing.
The problem is that system thinking itself is complex. This is why the team of BEE Environmental Communication decided to explain this very useful but quite technical concept in an easy-to-understand way. Illustrated with an universal example: love.
BEE Research Manager Sarah Czunyi: “On six-sided cubes, we created images that told different stories within one set of blocks. Each scene of the video uses a unique set of cubes, which when turned around illustrate a distinct component of the systems thinking ‘recipe book’ – yet clearly, all are connected in a bigger system and sub-systems. And the fact that we used these alphabet cubes, often thought of as simply children’s educational toys, illustrates that even something as complex as systems thinking should and can be accessible to a wider audience.”
More about the origin and background of the project here.
Most annual reports are difficult to read. Canadian agency WAX Partnership used that idea to give the annual from the Calgary Society for Persons with Disabilities (CSPD) an additional function.
The brief of CSPD was to create a provocative annual report that told their financial story, but which can also be used to raise awareness (and funds) for the organisation.
WAX decided to make the annual difficult to read by using a single staple in the centre of the pages. WAX then told the story of a client over a day using stark, journalistic photos and honest language that doesn’t pull any punches.
By simply placing a single staple in the middle of the report, WAX created a simple yet incredibly powerful metaphor for the struggle that persons with disabilities face every day of their lives. Because “being handicapped is hard”.
WAX won a Black Pencil prize at the D&AD Awards this year with the annual.
It is the second time WAX has been awarded for work with the CSPD. In 2009, the 2008 CSPD Annual Report earned In Book, where the entire annual report was written by hand, on objects that were purchased from fundraising efforts to help people living with disabilities.
This is quite brilliant idea based on the handwritten cardboards no one reads. The Spanish Arrels foundation, in partnership with the advertising agency The Cyranos McCann, presents Homelessfonts.org, the first website to let you buy fonts created by homeless people.
The idea is that individuals and companies can buy these different fonts through the Homelessfonts.org website and use them in different spheres, such as their social networks and corporate identity, whether for advertising, stationery or packaging, etc.
It makes a design more personal because there is a story behind it. In a way it makes homeless people visible in a unique way. And the handwriting of the homeless will finally be read.
At the website users can also find out about their creators’ stories and see the uses made of them. So far about ten homeless people have taken part in the scheme.
On April 24th last year, 1133 people were killed when the Rana Plaza factory complex collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
On it’s first anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster, a group of designers start remembering the victims and raising awareness with the Fashion Revolution Day.
The first anniversary is about one question: Who Made Your Clothes?
Founder of Fashion Revolution, Carry Somers: “Fashion Revolution Day has gathered incredible momentum on a global scale. We have over 40 countries around the world who will be participating in the day and I believe this represents a really exciting opportunity to reconnect fashion-lovers with the people who made their clothes”.
In this post four examples of the ads that are downloadable at the campaign website.
The video above is an introduction from Fashion Revolution Day USA.
In social advertising, as here on Osocio, we are familiar with emotions. Because it is not about physical things but real people’s problems. Advertising to overcome problems. It is often about pain and sorrow. But almost always with a positive approach. About dreams and ambitions.
Why not a advertising campaign about those two terms? Advertising agency KOKORO from Amsterdam has made such a campaign named Heartvertising.
KOKORO: “Former nursing home carer Bronnie Ware recorded the top five regrets of the dying. Perhaps unsurprisingly, most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.”
Twelve designers, illustrators and artists created ads that would speak to the hearts of passers-by and inspire them to pursue whatever dreams they may have. The project started February 18th and can be seen on 300 outdoor advertising panels, 100.000 Boomerang freecards and a local exhibition.
An intriguing new campaign for Parkinson’s UK. 20 image makers (illustrators, designers), were briefed to produce posters illustrating different facets of the disease. The posters are unbranded, designed to straddle the line between art (OK, ‘content’) and advertising. Some of the best are below, or click through for the wider series.
As ever, my questions are – what will this campaign change? Will it be seen by enough people to embed awareness of Parkinson’s disease in the public consciousness? And if so, what will they think, what will they know, what will they DO? There are some beautiful images here. And some obvious or cliched ones, to my mind.
But so what? It’s just empty design if it doesn’t change anything. And my worry is that that’s exactly what will happen.
Do read the associated article for further background on the campaign here.
There are still taboos. What recently was again the case with the project of the Cuban artist Erik Ravelo.
Ravelo is known for his his work at Fabrica and as the man behind the United Colors of Benetton’s UnHate campaign
The project called “Los Intocables” received much applause. But a lot of criticism also. So much that it was banned on Facebook.
And the discussion is still going on YouTube.
These images may not be published is often heard. Because it is shocking is the argument.
“Los Intocables” (“The Untouchables”) is a human installation about the right to childhood that should be protected as Erik Ravelo writes on his website.
It includes seven parts each showing an adult and a crucified child. Each part tells a different story about the loss of innocence with references like war, religion, child abuse and fast food.
It is like a mirror. Like all good art. And that mirror shows us sometimes very unpleasant truths. Therefore, it is not taboo because it is indecent. It is because it makes us scared how we deal with children.
It is not easy when you are attacked by your behavior as an adult.
With the help of lawyers the Facebook ban is canceled recently.
It’s not new but it is not often used: branding for a time-bound campaign. The kind of branding used for temporary purpose. Forest & Bird did it recently for their Love Nature: Vote 2014 campaign. New Zealand’s largest independent conservation organisation wanted nature back on the political agenda. The future…
Yesterday, it finally happened. Somebody challenged me to the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS. If your internet connection has been broken all summer, it’s this year’s big meme. You can read about it here. To be honest, I felt that the movement had passed its high-water mark when I saw…
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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.