Update: Thanks to community member Phyllis Nunkis who brought 4 Kids’ deceptive practices and false advertising to my attention. Kids4Kars doesn’t meet the Better Business Bureau’s standards for Charity Accountability, and the organization has been the subject of many, many complaints from consumers over the years. It is unfortunate to see smart, creative marketing used for the wrong purposes,” says Phyllis.
She’s 100% correct, but the best response we can have is to use this effective model to spur our own marketing innovation. Go to it!
What a morning! Our daughter, Charlotte, is off to her 5th-grade camping trip today and woke up with a challenging combo of anxiety and excitement—about having the right clothes, the weather, and every other facet of the trip she could imagine. Between us, it was a nightmare getting her out of the house this morning and a huge relief to watch the bus pulling away.
So how timely that that I saw this Kids 4 Kars campaign first thing today. Talk about getting my attention!
April fools! Kars4Kids, which funds educational and youth charities, just launched a timely (i.e. right-things, right-now) innovative awareness campaign to wake parents up to the negative impact use of devices while with their children can have on their children’s development. Kids4Kars will broadcast the campaign on air and online today, and hopes to reach over 50 million people.
Kudos to Kars4Kids—this is newsjacking at its finest! Claiming to accept donations of children “in any condition,” the Kids4Kars program offers a free, lifetime vacation to all donors. Sounds good to me.
Not till donors submit the donation form are they hit with the true purpose of the Kids4Kars campaign. “April Fools!” read the confirmation message. “You didn’t think we were serious, did you? We are, when it comes to helping children.” That’s followed by a powerful call to parents to turn off their devices to spend quality time with their children, citing research from the Boston Medical Center that 73 percent of parents are distracted by their devices during mealtime with their children, a great time for family bonding.
What a fantastic way to grab attention and engagement by linking to what’s top of mind. That’s right-things, right-now marketing! “We felt that we needed to hit hard to get the gravity of the message across,” says Kars4Kids spokesperson Morris Franco. “With the increasing temptations of our mobile devices, it’s harder and harder to stay focused on our children, which can have serious implications for their development. The shock value of an April Fools prank allowed us to wake parents up to the damage they can do to their children by focusing on their devices instead of their kids.”
Are you using April Fools day, or other top-of-mind opportunities, to link your nonprofit news to what’s top of mind for your prospects and supporters? Please share your right-things, right-now stories, or what’s holding you back from the power of newsjacking. Thanks!