New Conference Links Nonprofits & Entertainment

timothygreen
09.25.2012By

One prediction I often make is that causes will one day be integrated into every aspect of our lives. When we’re shopping, eating out, or exercising. And, of course, when we’re watching television, enjoying a night at the movies, or rooting for our favorite celebrity.

The intersection of cause and entertainment is the subject of a new conference on October 11th in Washington D. C. Cause Placement 2012 will explore strategies and initiatives that create win-win matches between causes and content–embedding messaging and marketing into the influential channels of entertainment including movies, television, celebrity activation, publishing, music, and gaming.

Photo via Courtney Howard, veryaware.com

A recent example of cause placement in action was the sock drive Disney launched with Hanes for the release of the summer movie The Odd Life of Timothy Green. If you’ve seen the movie–or even the trailers for it, which seem to be everywhere–you know that socks play a key role in hiding the secret that Timothy came from the garden!

In exchange for new socks from moviegoers, Hanes offered to match donations up to 10,000 pairs of socks. The Association of Gospel Rescue Missions (AGRM) ensured the socks were distributed to needy families.

As Philips McCarty, principal of Good Scout Group, one of the organizers of the event explained.

“It’s more than just marketing; it’s about integrating from scripting through production, events and social channels and so much more, to connect audiences with the larger themes told through songs and stories,” he says. “This is the only conference I know of that is all about joining people from the entertainment industry with folks from the nonprofit world to take an in depth look at how cause can be an integral part of the entertainment industry.”

Speakers include leaders from United Talent Agency, Discovery Channel, Sony, Lifetime, and USA Networks. Likewise, attendees will also hear from non-profit executives from organizations such as The United Nations Foundation, Hollywood, Health & Society, Malaria No More, International Rescue Committee, and The National Fatherhood Initiative.

The promising part of the conference is that the focus will be practical and hands on.

  • — René Jones of United Talent Agency and Joel Goldman of Malaria No More, along with other nonprofit and celebrity relations executives, will talk candidly about realistic approaches to celebrity engagement & activation.
  • — How do non-profits become critical resources to Hollywood executives when planning cause story lines and content? Learn how it works from Sandra de Castro Buffington of Hollywood, Health & Society.
  • — The big screen meets nonprofits when executives from Discovery Channel, the National Fatherhood Initiative, and independent producers and directors talk candidly about turning your cause into movie content.

Free Conference Tickets!

This will be an interesting and exciting conference, and we’re giving five of you a chance to attend for FREE! Just leave a comment below, and you’ll be entered into a drawing to win free tickets, which are regularly $150 each. I will be picking 5 free ticket winners by Friday, September 28th at 5 pm.

You can also save $100 off the purchase price right now by visiting the Cause Placement site and using the promotional code RAZOO. Tickets are limited at this price. So if you live in the D. C. area and are eager to attend, book now!

  • David

    I’m somewhat surprised this conference is happening, but I’m also exited. Entertainment has always been a conduit for social causes, ex good vs evil, giving instead of taking, but often these intangible forces are overshadowed by brand placements, and it seems every blockbuster is accompanied by a loud ad campaign matched by toys and the like, this branding is difficult to ignore. Movies are so special, the same goes for music, theater and more, and if social causes can be tied into the selling of film tickets and the products themselves that’s great but movies need to stay in direct correlation with the imagination of the film maker and writer. im pretty sure having a conference wont speed along scripts that are already play on acts of social good and the ones that will come as a result of relationships with non profits wil easily seem forced. anyway, if we can send half of ticket prices or pop corn purchases toward helping get cameras to low income individuals, now thats something i can support, we need more film makers and creative types that aren’t tied into Hollywood, who will create something that’s a direct respone to their environment, instead of a relationship meant to make extra dollars and buy a few socks.

    • Good points, David. Thanks for visiting.

  • Adriana

    I hadn’t heard of this initiative when the movie came out (and didn’t go see it), but it sounds like something that could really work. I’d be interested to learn about the results of this campaign and how it worked out for each of the parties involved. This innovative idea is exactly what we need to help people think and do outside the box to help our communities.

  • Rebecca

    I love that linking corporate, cause and entertainment is moving from concept to concrete reality with clear positive implications for the parties involved. It is a great step in moving away from a segmented society and towards the common pursuit of social good!nnn~RebeccanMORE Partnership[s]

  • Kamela

    This cause brings my heart joy! I have not had the opportunity to see the movie as of yet, however, I have intention to make it a priority. I am also pleased with the partnerships (national fatherhood jnitiative and discovery channel). I work in the non profit sector. As I read the initiative my wheels are turning as I think about how we can be involved!

  • Darlynn Czerner

    First off, Disney is all that every corporation should strive to be and then some. I couldn’t convey even a fraction of all the positive things about that company with a million words. I would venture to say the media and entertainment/tech industries probably have the ONLY best chance to promote positive social/world change because the masses are willing to be lead by them. It isn’t going to happen because of the unending hard work and sacrifice of any small non profit in nowhere, USA, regardless how noble the cause, how true the message, or how world changing the vision. Unless they can manage to get some big names and money behind them, they are wasting their time even thinking about “the BIG picture,” because there can’t be a Big Picture for them. The old adage, money makes money is Gospel. The trouble is, many times, when [small] organizations happen into high visibility support and adequate funding, they lose focus and their original cause becomes secondary to the glitz and glammor of having been given an opportunity to reach the masses with the message. Instead of steadfast focus on the cause and the message, it becomes primarily about improving personal lifestyles and about making money. Disney is the best example I know of a company that has been able to strike and maintain for the most part, the delicate balance between the messages and the money.

  • Thanks, Razoo for making this conference information available. I first became acquainted with your support for DC non-profits through Give to the Max Day. All NPOs are struggling these days to make our cause stand out against all of the social media noise. Cause placement would help to bring the necessary attention to the great work we are doing. This looks like a phenomenal way to strengthen our national corporate partnerships. I would love to attend!