For all of us who have struggled to pitch and get a client free PSA placements for their banners (good cause in hand) – here are some numbers reported by ClickZ that offer hope:

The One campaign, which aims to raise Americans’ awareness of global issues like AIDS and poverty, is making inroads online. Rich media firm Viewpoint has coordinated the donation and placement of $5 million worth of online advertising across the Web on behalf of the advocacy group.

The One campaign has had some great media hits recently, including the special with Brad Pitt visiting Africa, and all the fanfare around the Live 8 concert.  Even the ebay story about hawkers selling Live 8 tickets for profit had added to the hype.  Comparing this campaign to a recent experience I had working with Oxfam America to drive membership in their own eCommunity, one big difference stands out … the power of celebrity.

In this case, the recipe is simple: 

  1. A single celebrity chooses the cause (ie – Bono). 
  2. Single celebrity puts pressure on other celebrities to join (ie – Brad Pitt, etc.). 
  3. Celebrities make it a high visibility thing that media wants to get attention from. 
  4. Media donates advertising space and ad dollars.
  5. Internet offers a lower cost alternative for media to donate these dollars
  6. $5 million donated eAvocacy campaign is done online.

Not to be cynical about it, though.  Here’s the best part of the entire story … the range of media partners that are signed on:

Ad space was donated by AOL, 24/7 Real Media, MSN, Google, MSNBC,, Burst! Media, Gamespot,, Right Media, ValueClick,, CBS News and UPN. (Currently delivering 30 million online ads per day and hoping to serve a billion units before the G8 summit begins July 6).

I wonder when Yahoo’s going to get on the bus?