Robin of Shoreditch: The 100 Brands Project
Robinhooding Subway, or how to make those doing well do good.
By Maria Popova
Despite the recession, the global economy is a massive force of commerce, shuffling billions of dollars around its ecosystem of goods and services. By comparison, the nonprofit sector — and humanitarian aid in particular — is microscopic. So what if could take a fraction of that fat commmercial mega-budget and allocate it to underfunded good causes? That’s what Robin of Shoreditch, a group of anonymous creative outlaws, is doing with The 100 Brands Project — an effort to take from the rich and give to the poor, or in this case, to the people of Haiti.
It’s a simple, brilliant idea — the team, composed of various ad industry creatives, do what they do best: They offer each company on BrandZ’s 100 brands index a creative idea that could help their business and, in return, they ask for 1/10000000 — that’s one ten-millionth — of the value of that brand as a fee, 100% of which goes to relief efforts in Haiti.
Every Monday morning, the crew released a new idea for one of these A-list brands, including FedEx, Nike and American Express. They then send the brand an actual invoice and hope for the best.
Why go anonymous?
The truth is we’d rather keep our identities secret so not to compromise our ‘normal life’ jobs at various advertising and marketing agencies. We’re creating ideas for the top 100 brands and some of these bring us into conflict with the brands we work on day-in, day-out through our jobs.” ~ “Little John”
None of the 12 companies approached so far have actually paid up, but we think this is a brilliantly innovative take on “corporate social responsibility” and any brand that embraces its incredible potential — to do good but also, perhaps cynically, to generate some solid buzz — would be deserving of an epic hat tip.
You can follow the project’s progress on the team’s blog and keep an eye on Vimeo channel for fresh videos every Monday.
Published May 7, 2010