Atados: Donate the Bars

Campaign Summary

Because many NGOs can't afford to promote their charities, the NGO hub Atados wanted to find new ways to get them more attention, connect them with audiences that consume digital content on a daily basis, and raise awareness of their causes. Research showed that one out of every six videos posted on YouTube has black bars on both sides of them because they don't conform to YouTube's ratio standards. The "Donate the Bars" campaign leveraged these unused spaces by using them to promote NGOs.


Objective and Context:

For the Donate the Bars campaign, Atados let YouTube users donate the black space around their videos to an NGO of their choice to promote its cause. Each video with "donated bars" made its audience aware of the project, encouraging more people to join in.

Target Audience:

Most of the videos with two black bars were uploaded by common users rather than popular YouTube channels or influencers. These common users were the ones Atados wanted to engage for the campaign. It wanted to demonstrate that everybody, from YouTube celebrities to people with only a few followers, could help a cause in an easy, quick, and free way.

Creative Strategy:

The purpose of the campaign was to spread the messages of NGOs using a space that was typically wasted. The idea grew out of the insight that many people post videos with black bars around them, and Atados saw this as an opportunity to use the space to promote NGOs.


Overall Campaign Execution:

Atados designed a platform that could be used on both mobile devices and desktops. Users could upload their own vertically-filmed videos, choose one of the NGOs that joined the project, convert the videos to a horizontal format, and upload them to their YouTube channels with a message about the NGO's cause in the black bars. The website was launched in three languages (English, Portuguese, and Spanish) and featured an area for NGOs that wanted to join.

Mobile Execution:

Participants could use the website to film videos supporting NGOs and post them to their YouTube channels.

Results (including context, evaluation, and market impact)

Donate the Bars created an additional way for NGOs to receive support outside of donation and volunteer opportunities, and campaign results showed that all of the NGOs that were a part of the project successfully increased awareness of their messages.

Categories: Social Impact/Not For Profit | Industries: Technology | Objectives: Social Impact/Not For Profit | Awards: Gold Winner