In contrast to the recipients of the Rusty Radiator Awards, which features some of the year’s most poorly thought-of non-profit advertising – often portraying negative stereotypes of people and places from countries that receive aid – Oxfam GB has just launched their “Lift Lives” campaign. Their Facebook page states, “Ending poverty isn’t about handouts – it’s about changing lives forever.”
Conventional notions of aid and charity have been challenged on numerous occasions. But perhaps, at a time of economic uncertainty and austerity, many international NGOs are reluctant to change the tone of their ads that appeal to negative emotion (like sadness or pity), given that this is an effective strategy when it comes to fundraising.
The “Lift Lives” campaign by Oxfam GB, on the other hand, takes on a refreshing approach that showcases a more nuanced understanding of aid and development (i.e., hand-outs won’t end poverty), and recognizes the impact of local community members’ own actions, not just the donors’ money.