Introducing DOOHgood: digital screens for relief efforts and causes

April 28, 2011 by Dave Haynes

DOOH4relief was the near-instant and widely embraced effort to use Digital OOH and digital signage screens to drive donations to the Red Cross societies in several countries to relief efforts in Japan.

We need to develop some numbers around that still, but what was clear is that the spots produced by companies ran on scores of networks and many thousands of screens – everything from private corporate networks to the pre-show programming in movie theatres.

We had companies of all sizes, as well as umbrella organizations like the DPAA and CODACAN step in to offer help.

That experience got me thinking about how the Japan earthquake and tsunami was not a once-in-a-lifetime disaster, but just the latest one globally to shock people and compel them to look for ways to somehow help. It also got me thinking that awareness for natural disaster relief efforts is just one of many ways that digital screens can be used to offer support.

So, some of the core people and companies that quickly offered assistance and support for the Japan effort, and some new people, have been pulled together in a still loose group called DOOHgood.

The intent of DOOHgood is to be an archive and distribution point for video and motion media spots that private, retail, ad-based or any other kind of digital screen networks can use when they decide to support a relief effort or cause. It also puts some structure to efforts that until now have just been arranged on the fly.

By getting organized, we can develop standards and guidelines, and policies for appropriate usage. We’ll establish ties with key organizations like the Red Cross so they know what we’re trying to do and can have the right materials and messages ready when the next disaster strikes.

We’ll develop ties on the Digital OOH and private network side so we  can quickly get the word around when an effort has kicked in and spots are available. We’ll establish common measurements and reporting so we can understand impact.

We’ll also try to sort out some sort of criteria for when to actively get the industry involved and what sorts of organizations are suitable. When a Japan or Haiti or Katrina happens, the need is obvious. But what about the awful tornado carnage across the US? Flooding? Do they qualify?

DOOHgood also creates a distribution point for Public Service messaging that is not tied to events, but that many people support. Spots on bullying, spousal abuse, healthier lifestyles, pretty much name it … could use a distribution point. But we also need to gate-keep that, particularly given the increasingly overheated and sneaky political climate out there. We could try to do good, and then find out a cause is really a political action effort.

MediaTile pulled together something called PSAcasting, with The Advertising Council,a few years ago. But it has not taken root for a number of reasons. Mike Foster of MediaTile, who led that effort, has offered his invaluable experience, insight and contacts to DOOHgood to help steer how this new effort grows.

Insteo will continue to offer the back-end and host both the Dooh4Relief and DOOHgood sites, the latter still being an idea. The domain points to the relief site, but eventually will be the clearinghouse

We have people from rVue, Context Media, Obscura Digital and Preset involved in this new effort – with roles for Digital OOH and private network outreach, operations, charitable organization contacts, PR and social/mobile strategy. We also plan to loop in the various associations and slowly grow out the group.

DOOHgood has had one organizing call and we have another tomorrow. We need to define what we need and who more we need to arm-twist to also lend a hand. For now, we’re asking that networks that have run spots for Japan send us some metrics on audience, impressions, venues and so on.

We also need a logo (hint, hint, graphic design people).

This blog and probably some other forums will also be used to provide updates as this effort progresses.


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