The Advertising Council, in partnership with Environmental Defense Fund and Ogilvy New York, announced the launch of a new series of broadcast and online viral public service announcements (PSAs) designed to urge Americans to take advantage of mass transit, carpooling and biking to combat global warming.Our take:
The online viral PSAs will also be posted on popular social networking and video sharing websites, and environmental and consumer blogs. The Ad Council will be distributing the broadcast PSA to TV stations nationwide, with a particular emphasis on major cities with public transit. Additionally, as a result of a partnership with SeeSaw, the world's most extensive digital out-of-home media network, the PSAs will air on screens in convenient stores, health clubs and on college campuses throughout the country. Per the Ad Council's model, the PSAs will air in time slots donated by the media.
Very few digital signage networks that we've come across have tried to generate public goodwill by doing things like showing public service announcements, probably because there's little measurable revenue in goodwill. However, as the networks become more pervasive and, often, invasive, we expect that more will take up these kinds of announcements to stay relevant and provide a meaningful service to viewers.
Networks run by local government agencies would seem like the most natural fit, but electronic billboards, street-level window signage and even digital signs in shared retail spaces like shopping centers and malls could benefit from an occasional PSA or other non profit-motivated spot.