Creating adverts for charities and campaign groups allows you to use your talents to make a difference to the wider world – and feel good about yourself. But the message is having to change.

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“Most charity adverts are boring. The normal rules of a non-profit organization are to be very earnest while soliciting a donation or public support. Sadly, people have very little space for that in their lives.”
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So says Dan Mathews, vice-president of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). PETA’s campaigns have been anything but boring, ranging from the celebrity-led Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur campaign to headline-grabbing stunts.
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“We wanted a whole different tone of voice from that of other charities,” says Bridget Angear, deputy head of planning at advertising agency Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, about working on Richard Curtis’ Make Poverty History campaign. “It’s all about the positive, and I think people responded to that. It appealed to people’s sense of greatness.”
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According to those working on the highest profile media campaigns for charities and pressure groups, conventional charity advertising just doesn’t work anymore. Worthy messages and images of people in need, whether in other countries or on your doorstep, just don’t generate enough cash or support in the 21st Century.
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To succeed, you need to think differently and tap into the current trends of the advertising markets and the wider media. 
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Successful campaigns have learned tactics such as guerrilla marketing and PR-as-advertising, while the continuing obsession with glamourous figures has helped certain celebrity-led campaigns to grand results, assuming the right person is used in the right way.
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“We only used celebrities who had a real conviction behind them,” says Angear. “We only wanted those who genuinely believed in what they were doing.”
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With Make Poverty History, AMV were lucky in that Curtis, plus central spokespeople Bob Geldof and Bono, knew many of the celebrities that the campaign ended up using, and could suggest candidates that they trusted.
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AMV BBDO’s Make Poverty History campaign targeted simple statements and a clear message with a definite aim at a small group of people to target a larger audience – to target a group of eight.
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<h2>Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur</h2>
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