Promote reading with an URL lengthener

Posted by Marc van Gurp | 25-02-2014 21:30 | Category: Education, Media

Promote reading with an URL lengthener

Reading a book is enjoyable. Sadly, reading is out of fashion today. That’s why the Russian online store respublica.ru created a url lengthener to promote books thru your links. Preferably boring links.
Try this link and see how it looks like.

And this is the entire URL, including the first part of Vladimir Nabokov’s Luzhin Defense, the book I choose to recommend:

Try it for yourself here urliteratu.re.
And don’t you dare to use a link from osocio.org as boring link.

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Valentines for the real world

Posted by Tom Megginson | 14-02-2014 00:20 | Category: Education


Audra W. shared these great Valentines from Scarleteen, “inclusive, comprehensive and smart sexuality information and help for teens and 20s”:



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The choice in Australia: Go to school or die

Posted by Marc van Gurp | 30-01-2014 15:30 | Category: Education

Learn For Life Foundation of Western Australia - This is what happens when you slack off. Stay in school.

It’s the ongoing debate about shockvertising: does is work? The consensus is that it can work, but only in the short term.
And this new campaign from the Learn For Life Foundation of Western Australia is quite striking within the genre.

In this campaign video you see a few school runaways being blown up on the beach.
“This is what happens when you slack off. Stay in school.”

Go to school or die is an absurd choice. So absurd that it has been viewed 470,000 times on YouTube. In one day! And with a lot of thumbs up.

Is it a shock that keeps children in school? Or is there something new on YouTube next week to talk about?
I guess we will never get an answer to the first question. The answer to the second question is known.

Slate reports that the campaign is probably fake.
The domain learnforlifewa.org.au is registered by madkidsproductions.com in which agency Henry & Aaron participate.

Thanks Martijn Oostra!

Learn For Life Foundation of Western Australia
Henry & Aaron
Shot MCN

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Unlocking the potential of children in poverty

Posted by Marc van Gurp | 16-01-2014 15:30 | Category: Education, Fundraising, Poverty, Developing World

Liberty Foundation - Unlocking the potential of children in poverty

Nice photo montage to show what the problem is with poor children in Belize. The potential to solve problems is blocked by poverty.
In each ad is an if / then presented. With a reference to a current problem. Good work!

These three ads are from the Liberty Foundation.

Liberty Foundation
RKCR/Y&R, London, UK
Ads of the World

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Caution: Hot Topic

Posted by Noah Scalin | 18-12-2013 21:53 | Category: Activism, Education, Gender issues, Human rights


Students in Design Rebels, my socially conscious graphic design course at Virginia Commonwealth University, are required to create a real world project that reaches beyond the school as their final project. This year the students decided as a group to work on the issue of raising awareness about the local LGBTQ community. They chose to create a set of coffee sleeves as way to reach out to the general public in a more subtle way.

Each sleeve features the face of a local queer-identified person and a quote about their experiences dealing with a world that is not always very understanding of their sexuality. The sleeves also include an alternate version of the check boxes usually found on commercial coffee cups, but rather than types of coffee they list “Straight”, “Gay”, “Lesbian”, “Bisexual, “Trans”, and “Human” as the options. The “Human” box was pre-checked by the students to emphasize their goal of creating a greater respect for the humanity of their subjects as well as the LGBTQ community as a whole.


The students were given only 10 weeks to conceptualize, design, produce, and distribute their project and a $100 budget was provided by the Graphic Design department at VCU. Since the students wanted to reach a larger audience they solicited donations for additional cups using the local non-profit The James House as their fiscal sponsor. They ended up with enough money to print 2,000 sleeves, which were distributed at four local businesses and one event. They were also able to garner the attention of local and international press, creating a good deal of discussion around the initiative.

Two of the students have already expressed an interest in continuing the project beyond the end of the semester.

More about the project can be found on the students’ website HERE.

[click read more for additional visuals]

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Is it possible to raise the IQ of an entire country?

Posted by Marc van Gurp | 12-11-2013 21:30 | Category: Education, Developing World

St. Lucia Project. Is it possible to raise the IQ of an entire country?

Is it possible to raise the IQ of an entire country? That’s a weird question. Until you read about the St. Lucia Project.
Actually it’s a call for volunteering on the Island of St Lucia in the West Indies.

It is a Global Volunteers Initiative and their goal is to prove that short-term volunteers, working with local leaders on sustained development, can measurably raise the IQ of children by fighting and limiting the factors that damage brain development.

Dallas-based advertising agency Firehouse created two videos which characterize the issues affecting the country, as well as the potential impact through volunteering.

More about the project here.

Global Volunteers

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Kidbet: The first betting agency for kids by kids

Posted by Adam Valvasori | 24-10-2013 11:00 | Category: Drugs, Education


Kidbet is the latest campaign by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, as part of its efforts to reduce the prevalence and severity of problem gambling. Studies show teenagers are up to four times more likely to develop a problem with gambling than adults and one in five adults with gambling problems started gambling before they were 18.

The Kidbet commercial is a dark satire of sports betting agency ads like this, which have proliferated Australian media in recent years. It features a tween schoolboy promoting a fictitious gambling agency that is ‘just for kids’. It’s undeniably clever. However is it too convincing? Will its subtle sarcasm be lost on kids and even adults who are most probably only half watching, whilst multi-tasking on another screen e.g. mobile phone? When you have to write: “*Not a real betting agency” on the screen, is your message getting lost?

Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation
McCann Melbourne

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#sexmyths to Shock Parents and to Start the Conversation

Posted by Marc van Gurp | 21-10-2013 22:00 | Category: Education, Health


“I can’t get pregnant if I pee after having sex.” One of the many myths that we thought that no longer existed. They do, at least in Milwaukee.

The sex myths are the basis for this new campaign. The campaign, titled “Who’s Teaching Your Child about Sex?” is designed to start that conversation between parents and youth about sex and the many myths surrounding teen pregnancy. The campaign features kids proliferating many sex myths, and depicts them spreading throughout a school without any attempt to debunk or call into question the validity of the myths.

Gary Mueller, Creative Director at Serve Marketing, the agency behind the campaign: “The first line of defense against teen pregnancy is keeping kids informed about sex. But the problem is, many parents aren’t willing to sit down and have the talk with them. So when kids aren’t informed, misinformation and myths about sex spread.”

The campaign features an interactive YouTube quiz and website, heavy social media promotion on Facebook and Twitter. Teens and their parents will be encouraged to contribute to the discussion using the hashtag #SexMyths. Users will then be encouraged to share the videos and visit GetTheSexFacts.com for more information on the campaign.

Interactive #sexmyths quiz on YouTube:

United Way of Greater Milwaukee
Serve Marketing

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Listen up adults! When was the last time YOU did something creative?

Posted by Marc van Gurp | 26-09-2013 22:37 | Category: Education, Poverty


See, listen and enjoy the kids of the Barrio Planta Project, an organization from San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua.
“Listen Up Adults” is a reminder to all the unique people out there that “what’s best for the world is you be you!” Starring Kevin Fernando Villato Bermudez and the kids of the Project.

“The Barrio Planta Project is an education initiative created to empower low-income children and adults living in Nicaragua. Through supplementary schooling with an emphasis on English as a Second Language and the creative arts, BPP provides means for international communication and exposure to enriching cultural activities that enhance confidence and facilitate community.”

The video was created and donated by Weird Pixel, an indie film and social media company that seeks to redefine the way that non-profits communicate their missions with infectious and stylized web content.

Weird Pixel

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Newspaper campaign challenges South Africans #UnderstandSA

Posted by Marc van Gurp | 23-09-2013 22:00 | Category: Education, Media, Poverty

South African newspaper Business Day: Understand your country, or lose it

This new campaign from the South African newspaper Business Day is provoking and impressive. The tagline: ‘Understand your country, or lose it’.
There are currently two TVC’s available. They are about poverty and inequality aiming to create awareness around major issues that South Africa is struggling to deal with.
The visual part is not so exciting, what is said even more.

Donovan Bryan, executive creative director at agency OwenKessel said to Marketing Update: “The intention of the Business Day adverts is to drive home the point of how the political economy directly affects every South African. This is not a paper aimed only at key decision makers and CEO’s, this is a news platform relevant to every South African.
According to our Freedom Charter, we all have the right to freedom of speech and an opinion, especially when it comes to the Country’s governance and policies and this is where we are able to support Business Day’s message of how honest and current reporting is critical to an informed country and an informed country can assist in facilitating change. Business Day report on stories every South African should know and we have never been more proud of a piece of work.”

The TVC below deals with the issues of education and governance. In South Africa’s 2013 national budget, the allocation to basic education is set at R17.592bn. Still, more than 90% of schools in the country are without functioning libraries.

Business Day

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