NBCU takes lead in PSA campaign


International poverty activist organization Millennium Promise has enlisted the support of NBCU and USA Pro Cycling Challenge to get its message about the plight of residents of rural Africa on the air. A pair of 30-second PSAs will be seen on NBC Sports, NBCU cable channel Versus, and on other venues.

USA Pro Cycling Challenge is actually donating airtime that will be available on the two Comcast/NBCU program outlets. According to Millennium, it will get additional exposure on other donated spots on a number of additional venues. The entire project is being operated under the title Spokes of Change.

One of the spots will feature an American family in need of assistance, which it requests by dialing 9-1-1. It ends up waiting a full day for emergency help that is being delivered on foot. Such a situation is just about unimaginable in the US but can be close to reality in rural Africa, and Millennium hopes to focus on the contrast.
The ad, “9-1-1,” comes from global creative solutions company SapientNitro. “This is the kind of opportunity that agencies and creative teams dream about,” said Ronn Pearson, Creative Director at SapientNitro. “It’s a chance to do something beautiful and meaningful and powerful, all for the greater good of an incredible charity. And our PSA plays an important role in communicating the larger message surrounding their race to end extreme poverty-if we move faster, we win.”

Brooklyn-based agency CamLin  produced “Potential Realized,” focusing on the ability we have right now to bring an end to extreme poverty. Partner Ricky Camilleri commented, “‘Potential Realized’ truly captures what Millennium Promise is all about: giving people the tools they need to create a better future.”

RBR-TVBR observation: It’s one thing to put together a PSA and hope some distribution platform will air it. It’s another thing to line up a distribution platform, and then get the PSA into distribution. Non-profits seeking to get the word out should take a lesson from this – finding the air time is far better than simply creating the spot and hoping.