The Power of Humor and Positive Messaging

I came across this ad campaign a couple weeks ago (via the amazing blog Osocio) and have been thinking about the power of positive messaging in nonprofit advertising ever since. This marketing campaign is simple, funny and very effective because of its use humor to present its message.

This is definitely a refreshing change from the previous models of nonprofit advertising, which was focused on using intense imagery, melancholy music and powerful messaging to thrust a serious problem onto the viewer. These campaigns focus on sympathy and guilt to motivate the viewer to take action, which are exactly the feelings many of us are avoiding when we watch TV or surf the internet.  Compare the advertisement above with the famous Sarah McLachlan SPCA one and you will instantly see the difference.

Positive messaging is often much more effective because it better humanizes the issue by making it more accessible. The viewer is actually interested in the advertisement and often feels a genuine connection because they are laughing and enjoying themselves.

One perfect example of this is the recent Mama Hope video, in which a group of African men joke about how Hollywood films portray Africans. It is a very funny and light-hearted, while still getting its important message across.

These advertising campaigns succeed because they are truly enjoyable to watch. They are entertaining and more importantly, memorable. The overall message sticks with you, while the humor pushes you to share it with friends, which are essentially the two main goals of any advertising campaign.

Does humor have a place in nonprofit advertising? Is positive messaging actually more effective?


New Website, New Look, Same Mission.

Very exciting news today, our new website has officially gone live. Check it out here:

It has been a lot of work getting from initial idea to final execution, but thankfully we have an amazingly talented team led by the awesome Niti.

The best part of the new website is that it is also a sneak peek of the work we are doing for charities. We are planning on offering charities a more advanced version of this dynamic infographic to help them better tell their story and reach new donors.

For those who remember our old website, which was focused more on creating a mobile platform for charities; Don’t Worry! We are still working on creating that, so stay tuned for news about that.

Our mission has not changed at all, we are still focused on helping better connect charities with new donors, so they can just focus on doing their great work (and not on fundraising).

Let us know your thoughts on our new website. We are always looking for feedback on our work. 

Our First Live Infographic: Roots of Success

We are proud to show off Karma Store’s first infographic for Roots of Success. They are an awesome charity working to break the cycle of poverty through innovative job training programs.

Let us know what you think and help spread awareness and support for this cause by sharing this on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest (via the buttons below).

Show your support for Roots of Success by liking them on Facebook here.

To stay in touch with Karma Store and see our future infographics, follow us on Facebook here.

The Problem with Mission Statements (and Company Writing)

Here is a great video by Fast Company discussing why a majority of mission statements these days tend to be awful. There are often bloated company statements, filled with unnecessary ideas and useless buzz-words. As a result, many of them have little meaning (if any) and often serve as nothing more than a fancy sounding space-filler.

But this problem is not limited to mission statements; it often carries over to other company writing (About Us, Storytelling, etc.). The writers often want to include as many ideas in a limited space. They want to make sure every topic is covered and every trending word is used, so they continue adding more and more to the initial statement until the original purpose is lost.

The writers forget that they are writing to explain something or inspire someone, not just to sound the best on paper. And so their admirable attempts to write something great usually end up as something lackluster.

Ultimately the best solution for this is to keep it simple. Especially in this new age of social media, where every company and website is competing for an audience, simple is often more appealing because it is so easy to digest. People would rather have something that is easy-to-read and makes sense, than something that they have to decipher and over-think to understand. As Dan Heath states in the video, using concrete language to simply explain the why is often all that is necessary to write a great mission statement (or content in general).

With that, I’ll leave you with a perfect example of a simple and very effective mission statement from

“To reach more people with water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) faster and at a decreasing philanthropic cost per person.”