Friday, February 2, 2007

Could a Superbowl commercial change the world?

I recently heard a speech from the co-founder of Operation Smile, Dr. William Magee who presented one of the most compelling cases for giving I have seen (if anyone can find a podcast or text please send me the link or add a post here). This speech was given to an audience of about 500 people, got a standing ovation and undoubtedly could have emptied the pockets of many who were in attendance.

After watching the Superbowl over the weekend it got me thinking about what could be accomplished if an organization with a compelling message was given a one minute spot or maybe more to make their case to huge audience. According to Nielsen Media Research more than 93 million people tuned in for the Superbowl and based on all of the buzz I would be willing to be one-third of viewers were more excited for the commercials than the actual game itself, right?

Yes, I know that a one minute spot would cost $5 million dollars but let's do a quick math exercise to measure the potential gain. Of the 93 million total viewers, let's estimate that only 20% of viewers are actually tuned in to see the actual commercial (nearly 19 million). Of those 19 million who were actually tuned in, I will estimate only 2.5% of people who watch actually make the effort to pick up the phone or log on to the Internet to donate (remember, this is only 2.5% of those who watched so it is actually only .005% of the total viewers who are giving to the most compelling offer anyone could find). If these 475,000 people can find it in their hearts to give an average gift of $25 we are talking $12 million in gross revenue!! You could also argue that the 19 million impressions could be worth 10x as much longer term.

This article further confirmed for me how TV and Internet alike are embracing this "Youtube" world where people can get air time for doing anything and everything. Why not offer non-profits this golden ticket once a year? Whoever can make the most compelling case for giving in the shortest period of time wins, and I mean REALLY wins!

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