Nonprofit Newswire | Madison Avenue Talent and Clean Drinking Water

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March 23, 2010; New York Times | A charity that helps Unicef deliver clean drinking water to children in developing countries is soaking up as much goodwill as it can from friends on Madison Avenue to keep its message in front of people.

The brainchild of David Droga, an advertising executive himself, the Tap Project runs an annual appeal that asks diners in selected cities to donate a dollar each time they order free tap water in a restaurant. For this year’s World Water Week campaign—underway now—the charity is making more use of new media, like text messages and an online radio station, in addition to more traditional forms of donated creative, and print and broadcast media.

As an example of the contributed work, Droga’s firm, Droga5, created ads that are meant to look like they are drawings done by children years from now. One ad that depicts a youngster having fun dousing his teacher with water from a hose has a headline that reads: “Donate to Unicef today, and tomorrow millions of children around the world will have all the clean, safe water they need. Just like ours do every day.”

In addition, to help from advertising agency and media partners, this year’s effort is attracting support from other kinds of sponsors. For instance, for every purchase of a certain Armani fragrance, a dollar will be donated to the cause, and the same amount will be given for every person who signs up on the brand’s Facebook page. There’s no doubt that the Tap Project wants to deeply immerse everyone it can in the campaign.

For more about how you can use ad campaigns to make change, don’t miss the article “Visual Rhetoric” in the next issue of the Nonprofit Quarterly (our print journal).—Bruce Trachtenberg