Dan Pallotta at the HBS blog argues that the reason we were able to raise an astounding $560 million in 17 days for Haiti is not due to the goodness of our souls, but the prevalence of media.
He emphasizes the importance of marketing in philanthropy and quotes David Oglivy, the father of advertising, who challenged others to “try launching a new brand of detergent with a war chest of less than $10,000,000.”
In comparison, development organizations around the world are trying to end world poverty with a smaller sum. Pallotta contends that humanitarian organizations be given the resources to promote and create a similar demand for their causes.
He is not necessarily advocating for Miley Cyrus-type marketing; dignified yet persuasive campaigns using photojournalism or documentaries are what he had in mind.