On a recent flight to Melbourne I passed by the large bin holding headphones you could take onboard to use on the flight. Wrapped around the headphones is an envelop for UNICEF in which you can provide any pocket change after your flight. This got me wondering: Does anybody ACTUALLY do this? Is this actually an effective and RAD way to do advertising, albeit a fairly old school and analog approach?
The answer is apparently YES: According to UNICEF, since the program began in 1991, over $31 million dollars have been raised, that's about $1.25 million per year on average. Considering 5 cents gives a child clean drinking water for 2 days, and $1.50 can protect 5 kids from disease, that money can go a long way.
The UNICEF brand has been around for a long time - and I always associate it with doing good on a big scale, similar to a Red Cross. But I've never been really clear on what it actually does. Turns out it stands for United Nations Children's Fund. From the site:
The United Nations Children’s Fund, formerly the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, was established on December 11, 1946, by the United Nations to meet the emergency needs of children in post-war Europe and China.
In 1950, its mandate was broadened to include the long-term needs of children in developing countries everywhere. UNICEF became a permanent part of the United Nations system in 1953, when its name was shortened to the United Nations Children's Fund. It retained its original acronym.
Here's a list of the other corporate partners - and hey perhaps you work on a brand that would want to be added to the list? With the state of the world as it is, seems the need has never been greater.
Although at the time I didn't donate (I bring my own headphones), learning more about UNICEF has inspired me to do so next time - that spare change in my wallet only weighs me down as I'm travelling and could be put to much better use through UNICEF. My only recommendation to them would be to switch it up a bit and get people like me who are on auto-pilot and don't know much about the organisation to take a fresh look at what they've accomplished.