Harvard Business Review: Money Can’t Buy You Happiness, but through Advertising It Can End Aids, Poverty, and Cancer


This blog entry, written by Dan Pallotta, addresses the lack of advertising for non-profits, in relation to other marketing expenditures, “Total annual U.S. marketing expenditures for all purposes are estimated to be about $730 billion. A rough estimate of annual nonprofit sector marketing spending puts it at $7.6 billion.”

He then defines advertising, “to create desires — to bring into being wants that previously did not exist.”

This explains a lot in today’s consumer based society. If what almost all of the $730 billion dollars spent on advertising per year is spent telling us that we desire to buy a new car, house, gadget, etc., no wonder our society is so consumer driven and so caught up on always needing the new thing.

This article begs the question of, what if our society was caught up on always needing to support the most prevalent cause? Pallotta explains his opinion, “If the New York Times every morning were full of ads for ending AIDS, eradicating poverty, and curing cancer, those causes might just stand a chance against Bloomingdale’s and Netflix. And make no mistake about it — that’s who the competition is.”

People do have an innate desire to give or to be charitable, for the most part. We do not have an innate desire to need the iPhone 4G, when the iPhone 3G was working just fine. But we all went out and got the new model, because advertising “created that desire.” Imagine if Pallotta’s ideal replacement of current ads with ads for live-saving and life-changing non-profits came to be. We would be scrambling to wait in line to donate to most impoverished people at that time.

What would that world look like?

Maybe the owning the Tory Burch emblem would become having the experience to take part, whether financially or personally in saving a life.

or      ?

Credits: Pallotta, D. (2009, May 26). Why Nonprofits Should Invest More in Advertising [Web log post]. Retrieved from Harvard Business Review: http://blogs.hbr.org/pallotta/2009/05/why-nonprofits-should-spend-mo.html

About bkivlovitz

Editor/Writer: Wide Open Country, Texas Music Magazine, Women's Adventure Magazine, Backpacker Magazine, Demand Media Studios, and more.
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