EA-commercials on national TV in Norway - for free!

by Jorgen_Ljones16th Jul 201512 comments



TL;DR: Norwegian TV channels have to send informational videos from non-profits instead of regular commercials 4 days a year. The only important requirement is quality, which judging by the current videos, is set at a reachable level. We need input and people who can contribute with time, skills and/or funding.



The EA community is growing in Norway and one of the larger project that we are working on is starting a foundation that will promote, inform on and manage tax deductible donations to GW/GWWC recommended charities and meta charities. As a part of the promotional plan we want to make an informational video about effective giving that would spark attention, get people to visit the website and ultimately donate to effective charities. The main goal is to show the video in a 30 second version on national television (see details below), and a longer version (or the same version) could be spread on Facebook ant Twitter using the EA network. This video project is not necessarily dependent upon the rest of the foundation, and could be carried out even if we have to postpone the the foundation due to lack of funding.

By Norwegian law commercial TV stations are not allowed to send commercials four days a year (Christmas day, Pentecost, Good Friday and Easter). Instead they are required to send, equally in length and frequency, informational videos from non-profit organizations free of charge. We believe that this is a great opportunity for reaching out to a large audience and get valuable attention to effective causes, especially if we manage to create a video that sticks out, favorably without pitiful, poor and hungry children (as many of the other videos). The cost in time and money is dependent upon the skills of the persons producing the video and the quality we aim for.

Some ideas of format and content

Here are some examples of informational videos sent by other charities: Lions Club, ParkinsonNorway, Save the Children.

We haven't decided on any core message or framing, so we are totally open for suggestions. However, one of the conditions from the TV-stations is that we cannot directly ask for donations. But we can present a web address and the logo at the end. The time limit is 30 seconds, but as pointed out, we can produce a longer version for using online.

Since we are new in the game, and most people haven't even heard of the charities we recommend, I think we will benefit from being bold and trying to create some attention by being different. Maybe we even should be provocative and challenging.

I have little experience with video production, but I imagine that making a computer animated video may be the best format. It's cheaper in equipment costs, more likely that EAs or friends of EAs already got the necessary software and knowledge and it's easier to collaborate over the web. I also think that few of the other videos are animated, such that this will stick out. Here are some examples of good animated videos I think of: The Science of Presuation, How The Economic Machine Works and The Girl Effect (or may be more like an infographic like this).

This is only some very loose ideas and the conditions we have to follow. Please feel free to build on this, or come up with something completely different. We would really appreciate all input, criticism, tips and ideas.

What are needed to carry this out

At this stage we need the resources in people, skills and money to be confident that the product would be good enough so that we can start the project. A reasonable goal is for the video to be done one month before Good Friday: the deadline for sending in videos that will be aired the two commercial free days of Easter.

By resources in people and skills we mean people who want to contribute to the creative process, the production process and/or the editing process. Do you have experience with doing similar projects and want to give us a hand? Just giving some tips or ideas will be valuable as well.

Given that we may not get people with the appropriate skills to make the video (the production part seems most demanding) who are sufficiently motivated to help without any pay, we'll have to hire someone. We got some names of friends of EAs with the appropriate skillset, but we don't know if they got time or that they are willing to doing it for free. Another aspect is the level of commitment friends of EAs will show for a pro bono project, about a cause that they don't usually are excited about. Then a limited fee could be well spent as it emphasizes that we are serious about this, and it creates a stronger commitment to the project.

Without having much experience about such projects, we estimate that expenses making the video would amount to:
13 000 NOK - Paying a skilled producer/animator or two
1500 NOK - Traveling expenses (Trondheim-Oslo)
500 NOK - Food and snack for workshops

Sum  15 000 NOK ($1840)

An eventual surplus, resulting from lower expenses than expected, will be donated to SCI if the donor doesn't have other wishes.

If you are interested in supporting this video project financially and thus helping us reach hundreds of thousands of Norwegians with a message of effective giving, please send an email to post(at)effektivaltruisme.no.

If you are interested in supporting or learning more about our greater project of starting a foundation, please also send us an email. For the foundation we are also trying crowdfunding and we will apply for funding to EA Ventures.

We hope to hear from you in the comments!

- Jørgen Ljønes
Co-president of EA NTNU, Norway