Charity case study: ‘Donate the Bars’ turns blank spaces into ad estate

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When vertical videos are posted on YouTube, two black bars appear on each side- a perfect ad opportunity? This case study looks at how agency J. Walter Thompson (JWT) put some often overlooked ad space to a good cause.

Case study summary

• Brazil agency promotes work with innovative charity initiative

• Fills black space from vertical mobile videos on YouTube with ads for NGOs

• Donate the bars’ campaign attracts a whopping 42 million impressions for charities

The challenge

With thousands upon thousands of videos uploaded daily, those black bars amounts to a huge amount of unused space—which JWT mobilised with its "Doe as Barras" ("Donate the Bars") project.

The solution

Any YouTube user who uploads a square or vertical video could do so through the website—and donate the black bars as media space for an NGO. It works from desktop or mobile.

The results

Some of the NGOs that have joined the project include Alcoólicos Anônimos, Ampara Animal, Afroreggae, Associação Brasil Parkinson, Gravidez Sem Álcool and Instituto Ayrton Senna. Other nonprofits can participate by inquiring on the website.

Overall, the ‘Donate the bars’ campaign attracted a whopping 42 million impressions for charities.

"We hope to give these institutions dedicated to important social causes an opportunity to share their actions and messages with a broader audience and with no cost, transforming a useless space into a media outlet," says Ricardo John, chief creative officer at J. Walter Thompson Brazil.

JWT [Atados] Donate the Bars from J.Walter Thompson Brasil on Vimeo.

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