Foundation to Decrease World Suck, Inc. a Montana-based 501(c)3 charitable organization is a company that is mostly based off of one huge social media campaign entitled Project for Awesome. Staring in 2007 the company started the campaign or “project” to essentially improve life on planet earth or in their words make the world suck less.
Unlike other social media campaigns this is all user generated which I find incredibly interesting. The Project for Awesome campaign is an annual event that bands together content creators on YouTube to raise money for all kinds of causes and relating charities. Anyone with a YouTube account can join in on the fun and raise for a cause.
The campaign works in three parts all involving social media. First being the uploading of YouTube videos expressing thoughts on a certain cause and charity associated along with it. Once uploaded to YouTube and the Project for Awesome (commonly abbreviated as P4A) site videos will be voted by users to determine charities that will receive donations (half of the proceeds go to foundations voted upon and the others go to Save the Children and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) The second part is the actual fundraising which is done on the popular fundraising site Indiegogo. For a week the fundraiser is set up and donations can be made. Indiegogo is an interesting site because for increments of funds donated a “perk” or reward is given to the person who donated. The third part of the campaign is the live stream aspect. A 48 hour livestream is set up with different events to help raise awareness and money.
Project for Awesome main focus is content curation. The use of YouTube content creators creating their own videos about the company is the main way that P4A gets its advertising. The strategy of having other create buzz rather than themselves is extremely beneficial to them. If the situation was different and P4A had one YouTube channel and had all the content uploaded on it would be extremely less effective because the audience would be minuscule when compared to audiences of different content creators. I cannot think of another company the relies on content curation so heavily. P4A’s doesn’t have strict brand guidelines but in most content uploaded for others it is apparent the company’s logo is used in the thumbnail of the video (although some accounts are not able to make custom thumbnails).
Two persuasive messaging strategies can be found in parts of P4A. Currently on the companies website the logos strategy can be seen. Facts and figures showing how much money was raised in the previous years campaign can be seen. The other messaging strategy that is apparent in the content curation aspect is pathos which is always a common factor when charities are involved. In videos created images and clips of emotional appealing things are in place to ensure a connection is made and a share, vote, or donation is made.
Some of my favorite Project for Awesome videos made in past years are Ingrid Nilsen’s video supporting Conscious Period and Justine Ezarik’s (iJustine) videos supporting Charity Water (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013) and Napa Center Kids Foundation (2014).
I encourage anyone and everyone to all get involved with Project for Awesome and make our world suck less!