Category Archives: NPOs


Amsterdam gets it right

Hats off to Amsterdam for taking the “location marketing” concept attempted in Germany (Du bist Deutschland) but doing it properly with a simple play on words. Though it has to be said they have the right name to do this with. It seems Europe is increasingly marketing itself through what is called product personification. Only this time it really is … Continue reading

Source: Metropolitan police website

Scare-less tactics

The police in England recently unveiled their campaign for increased vigilance (watch out for those terrorists now…). But rather than scare us and cause panic they really have gone the British stiff upper lip and softly-softly bobby-on-the-beat route. I was expecting to see nasty gun-wielding murderers. But no. That is precisely the point. Terrorists blend in – the enemy within. … Continue reading

Word play about a serious issue

Effective charity posters

Well well. We’ve had much debate in marketing courses about the theory of grabbing attention as a non-profit organisation (NPO) and how best to spend your precious money (see here and here). And then this study comes along… Basically this goes against the grain of all the things in the books. How should we interpret this example? (by the way: … Continue reading


Using media money quickly

In non-profit markets, marketeers have to really push the message quickly. When it’s a political message, they have to do it powerfully too (given that many people are bored by politics, especially under the current grand coalition). So hats off to the Green Party/Bündnis 90 alliance for going where no others would dare to… this is brave advertising. Very brave. … Continue reading

Going places: marketing cities

My thanks go to Christina who pointed out a great article on what the Germans call Standortmarketing (a term the English language sadly struggles with – the nearest equivalent would be “Location marketing”. It’s about marketing The Big Apple or similar tourist attractions which are actually a place; more here). As Spiegel will probably sue me in the land of … Continue reading

David and Goliath battle it out. And NPO marketing won.

The power of consumer lobbying

Greenpeace know how to put an organisation under pressure when they want to. So when a major oil company decides it would be quicker and cheaper to get rid of an oil platform by sinking it in the middle of the North Sea, their PR department shifted into top gear and we saw NPO marketing at its best. Many observers … Continue reading

"For nature, everyday is 9/11"

Headline news

When you’re a non-profit organisation (NPO) you tend to have low advertising budgets so gaining quick and impactful cut-through is difficult. As a result many NPOs use angst as a mechanic to pull in the target audience (whether this is a right or not as a technique, is also discussed under positivism vs negativism in charity advertising here). But if … Continue reading


Selling Germany

I had a client in Germany who could not work out why all of his export managers sold so many products (in a technical market) while his sales were stagnating or in decline. To make things worse, he had to think up clever marketing strategies and expensive selling materials while his export colleagues did nothing more than turn up at … Continue reading


A swastika that sticks

I was innocently flicking through the pages of a leading German magazine when I stumbled across the ad below. For those of you who don’t live in Germany, let me explain the visual cues: we see a Turkish immigrant family, sitting over a pot of tea. The table cloth bears a swastika – something they’ve clearly not noticed. And in … Continue reading


Positive versus negative

Charities and non-profit organisations (NPOs) have enough difficulties raising funds to further their aims. Things become even more challenging when it comes to gaining awareness for their cause through advertising. First, they don’t have the corporate coffers to cut through the clutter like big companies. Second, not everyone is interested in their cause – they are often being encouraged to … Continue reading