The best of non-profit advertising and marketing for social causes

[3+1] Ross McCulloch

[3+1] Ross McCulloch

Two weeks ago we did the first edition of [3+1], the new section on Osocio. As an introduction Marc did his own choice.
Today it is the real start and we are proud to welcome Ross McCulloch from Scotland with his 3 favourites and 1 failure. Because that is what it is about: sharing 3 favourite campaigns, designs or other visual things. And 1 failure, something annoying.
In short: 3 x good, 1 x bad.

Ross McCulloch is passionate about social media for social good, working with various third sector organisations on website development, social media strategy and training as Third Sector Lab. As well as organising the bi-annual Be Good Be Social events he is also the founder of – an online space for charity professionals to learn, debate and connect.
We know Ross online for a while. He is a professional in his niche, always enthusiastic and above all he is a positive mind. And we love that!
Ross on Twitter.


Enable Scotland
For their first ever national ad campaign Enable Scotland didn’t mess about. Their posters featured strong images of people with learning disabilities and asked bold questions like “If I ate out of a dog bowl would you like me more?”; highlighting the fact that animal charities receive nearly double the donations of disability charities.


More after the break.

Some people saw the Enable Scotland poster campaign as a direct attack on animal charities but for me it raised an interesting question – do we prefer to give money to causes that are cute and cuddly?


OneKind’s They’re Here video highlights, in an innovative way, that we’re not that different from our animal relatives – we’re all sentient, we all think and we all feel. The campaign for the film was tied into the OneKind launch on 10.10.10 and garnered huge interest online with a series of teasers, many people believed these were for a new sci-fi blockbuster and movie forums buzzed with anticipation.

The film has so far gained over 10,000 views across all social media channels. On top of that OneKind scooped a Movieviral Award and got to the last four of the Youtube DoGooder Awards. Not bad for a small Scottish animal protection charity.



With their ‘What a feeling!’ campaign, ActionAid put their supporters feelings front and centre, celebrating what they get back from transforming poor people’s lives.



The big insight for ActionAid came from talking to their supporters. According to Andrew Robinson, ActionAid Campaigns Manager, the thing that came up again and again was that, whilst they were concerned about making the biggest amount of difference to as many people as possible, their supporters all recognised that they got as much, if not more, back in positive feelings than what they gave in time and money. ActionAid realised they were a conduit to helping people discover something really profound and really amazing about themselves and they wanted to celebrate that.

Beautifully simple, amazingly powerful.


Big Society

The Conservative Party released a series of beautiful posters just before the 2010 UK general election (above). They featured simple visuals and bold messages but it all felt a bit faux-quirky. These were meant to be posters for a no-nonsense political party, not Innocent Smoothies.

As one blogger pointed out at the time, these stylish posters were a huge departure from the other Conservative ads of the 2010 election campaign (below). Therein lies the problem, it’s not that the posters weren’t pretty, it’s that they were completely off message. The Tories looked like they had a serious identity crisis.


Founder of Osocio. It all started with collecting election posters in 1973. And that's never stopped. Read more.