Archive for the ‘Public Service Announcements’ Category

PSA’s Turn Into Viral Video When You Think Outside the Box

July 7, 2012

We’ve seen them for years.  The typical Public Service Announcement commonly referred to as a PSA.  A celebrity shares an important announcement to create awareness for a non-profit organization or a corporate sponsored goodwill message.  Enter a little bit of b-roll, play the violin, see a sad picture, and then a call to action.  I’m sorry.  It’s boring.  They get on the air, but…does your audience, the average television viewer, remember them?  And more importantly, do they take action?  Are they motivated by the call to action to  donate, volunteer or “get healthy?”

It’s not just about getting TV air time for your PSA, but you want to create an on-air spot that is not only remembered by television viewers, but also has the potential to turn into a viral video on YouTube or other internet video services.

I love this PSA with former Saturday Night Live’s Kevin Nealon.  It’s a perfect blend of satire (poking fun at traditional PSAs) and delivering a serious message.  Take a look:

This PSA has captured over 107,000 YouTube views in just two weeks and is quickly gaining speed.  Why is this easily on its way to becoming a viral video?  Because this is the kind of video you share on Twitter and post on Facebook.  People laugh and want to share.  But if this PSA was edited down to the final 30 seconds and that’s all people saw, it wouldn’t stand a chance at going viral since then it would be a a typical public service announcement.

So you see how satire and humor is a not only a great way to create a memorable message, but will be viral video material, now a hard hitting drama can be effective too.  We all know how dangerous it is to Text and Drive – or do we?

This PSA produced in the U.K. has captured over 1,000,000 YouTube views. No doubt, a lot of people have shared this on Facebook to draw attention to how dangerous it is to Text while driving, but it also creates very dramatic and memorable images that don’t just say “don’t text and drive” but show the consequences which is highly effective.

Though not quite at viral video status, this anti-smoking PSA has the right idea:

Here’s a classic PSA from the Ad Council:  Keep America Beautiful.  Baby boomers and Gen-Xers alike love retro stuff so if you’re organization has some golden goodie blasts from the past, put them up on YouTube and share them on Facebook and Twitter.  A great to way to leverage a part of history and it’s free (if there are no restrictions or copyright considerations).

This Anti Dog Fighting PSA uses a unique perspective (talking dogs) to make the point of how horrible dog fighting is.  It’s very social media media friendly and shareable.  With approximately 180,000 views, it’s been very effective.

I love the humor in this pseudo PSA on End Cat Boredom that’s sponsored by Friskies.  With over 750,000 views, it’s a good example of how a little creativity will take you a long way.

So you’ve seen some good examples of how to think outside the box and turn your message into a viral video.  Derek Halpern also has great tips on what makes your content viral. You can use a very small budget and produce a  “PSA” just for YouTube and online video outlets.  When you’re producing a PSA for television, don’t forget to design it with the additional YouTube (and other online resources) in mind to maximize your audience reach and feel free to call CMP Media Cafe for a free consultation on how to effectively your PSA.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Copyright (c) 2012. CMP Media Cafe. All Rights Reserved.

How to Use Socia Media for Public Service Announcements

June 25, 2012

Public Service Announcements are an effective and economical means for delivering the message of a not-for-profit organization or a corporate sponsored goodwill message. Also known as a public service ad, PSAs are a type of advertisement featured on television and radio. The difference is that the objective of a standard advertisement for TV or radio is to market a product, but a PSA is intended to change the public interest by drawing attention to an issue, and encouraging a positive action as a result.

Broadcast television and radio have been a traditional way of distributing PSAs primarily because in the past, it was a way for stations to fulfill FCC requirements that a broadcaster operate in “the public interest.”

Now, thanks to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and more, organizations can get creative and spread their message via social media outlets and expand the audience reach outside of traditional PSA distribution channels.

Here’s a smart photo I came across that was not sponsored by any major animal rights organization, but a small animal rescue non-profit, Ruff Love Rescue.  The message was simple, but powerful.


Please note that this photo was never intended as a social media PSA per se, but it’s a great example of how a little creativity with a powerful message can strike a chord in the social media community and go viral. This photo was actually an advertisement from a magazine in the U.K. but the message is transcontinental.

Statistics do show that Facebook users (where I saw this photo) are more apt to share a photo with large print than any other type of photo or status update.  I saw this photo on my Facebook newsfeed.  It caught my eye and I shared it on my Timeline.  I had at least two shares right off the bat and noticed that of the friends that shared it on their Timeline, they also had two shares each.  Do the math.  It’s effective.  At the time that I’m writing this blog, this photo has had a total of 2578 shares from the Ruff Love Rescue “Fan Page” and only 119 likes.  In Facebook currency though, shares are worth a lot more than likes because that’s how things go viral.  They also use the photo description to link to a dramatic USA Today article on Don’t Think for a Minute that Dogs Can Survive in a Hot Car.

So start thinking about how you can communicate your goodwill message in a powerful way by using this technique on Facebook.  This example was dramatic, but humor is also a very powerful tool for creating a memorable message.  Also, think about ideas that will engage your intended audience to relate to your message.  The photo above evokes emotion among anyone who loves pets, so think in terms of how you will engage your audience to care.

Additionally, notice this organization used a great advertisement that was already created and shared it.  You may need to consult your legal department, but social media does allow you to share a lot of these great assets too.

Finally, be creative, but don’t be commercial.  The social community smells a rat when it comes to an overt advert.

We’ll be addressing how to share your PSAs on Twitter and YouTube in upcoming blog posts.  Until then…

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Copyright (c) 2012. CMP Media Cafe. All Rights Reserved