Hope For Humanity
The horrors of Haiti go beyond the experience in which very few of us can understand. What occurred in a few minutes will take thirty years to recover. And for those who lost loved ones perhaps longer if at all. But through it all something positive occurred. I’m not suggesting anything can replace the tragedy that occurred but something has risen out of these ashes that gives those who question faith in humanity a little glimmer of light. The world once again proved its humanity. Despite all of the economic hardships that many in this world are experiencing…somehow, someway people found it in their hearts to raise over 58 million dollars for the people of Haiti.
In a Mere Two Hours There Is Hope For Haiti.
I’m certain many of us would jump on a plane if we could to help find survivors or to aid and treat those injured and mourning. But we all can’t. So we do what we can…and the ‘Hope For Haiti Now’ Telethon is one way we all can lend a hand. In a mere two hours ‘Hope For Haiti Now’ telethon changed the lives of millions by raising millions. This event is truly historical.
58 Million and Counting
Breaking all records for general public donations telethons; the world has experienced something truly unique…and this is only the beginning…just wait till the iTune and download totals are tallied as they continue to pour in daily. The 58 million does not include corporate donations or that of those donated by large individual donations. This was accomplished by star power.
The last time I saw so many stars in one room was the academy awards. We often ridicule and point fingers in this world at stars and entertainers for their political views and use of star power to grandstand or sway public opinion.
But I know of no other entity like the entertainment industry that can pull together such an incredible force of energy and will power which converts human emotion into dollars so quickly.
Kudos to those who offered their brand (star power) to elevate donations that converted into dollars. What’s in a name…a lot of donations that’s what’s in a name. So if you question star power to elevate raising money for any cause…you need only look here to remind yourself. Remarkably thoughout my career I still run into the nay sayer who under estimates this approach to elevating a brand or a cause or a global initiative.
A Son Of Cincinnati
Cincinnati’s very own George Clooney coordinated a near perfect execution for the relief telethon. In only 12 days after the horrible quake a near flawless production campaign was developed and executed.
A production like this presents many challenges…from lining up the talent…logistics for technical executions involving the cooperation of major networks bumping all of their prescheduled programming to carry the event.
Not to mention all of the advertising each network gave up by not airing their normal programming…to coordinating agents…sponsors…charities…all of which was done with no political agenda. How many times do you remember looking at a program guide and seeing one event on nearly ten major networks and it not being a presidential event? I can’t think of any. Amazing.
We witnessed a number of masterful marketing and event techniques that were absolutely brilliant. Such as allowing the audience to hear phone conversations with a star even when a modest donation of say $25 was pledged…you were speaking with a celebrity thanking you for your gift. As if we were watching a New Years Eve production the producers bounced us from LA to NY to London for performances and back and forth to CNN’s Anderson Cooper reporting in Haiti. Nothing new mind you…yet it was executed flawlessly.
Clooney and the producers of the telethon brought us all closer by simply showing the human side of simple conversations. Good music…great performances…and simple production methods…reminding us that less is always more…and this exceptionally produced telethon is TV fundraising at it’s best. My hats off to all involved in pulling together this effort. You did us all proud. Especially you Mr. Clooney.
And if you believe that stars only donate their time. Look again at these donations none of which are a part of the 58 million were just a few of the generous donations brought to the people of Haiti: Sandra Bullock’s $1 million, Leonardo DiCaprio’s $1 million, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s $1 million, and Giselle Bundchen’s $1.5 million.
You could literally feel the emotion in the performances…they were fantastic. I’d like to think if I had the ability to sing like those who entertained I would have jumped for the opportunity to share this gift to raise a gift. I wasn’t a fan of a number of the entertainers prior to the show…but after watching them give it their all to help those less fortunate…gained my admiration and respect.
I realize this is nothing new. Entertainers have helped causes as long as most of us can remember. Look at FarmAid…We Are The World and countless other benefits to raise money. But what I enjoyed most about this particular event was that it represented our support for humanity. Something that often gets lost in today’s politics and global issues.
All my actions have their rise in my inalienable love of mankind – Mohandas Gandhi
The world has seen nothing like the power of today’s social technologies. The world has seen very few events in modern times like the quake in Haiti…and it has seen very few moments where so many came together in so little time to raise hope for humanity.
I’m not sure most of this world understands the sheer impact we all could have if we joined together.
Take this as a lesson. A lesson on social media, a lesson on humanity, a lesson on globalization, a lesson on the power of a single message, a lesson on global marketing.
You thought President Obama’s internet campaign was powerful and effective…it was…but it shys in comparison to a powerful little two hour event and the funds it is raising.
This event is unprecedented. “Hope for Haiti Now” album was the largest one-day album pre-order in iTunes history. While this information remains “preliminary” as of now, the album was No.1 on the iTunes chart in 18 countries.
All proceeds, including money usually relegated to iTunes and Rhapsody, have also been donated to Haiti relief, so every 99 cents spent on a single or $7.99 spent on a Hope For Haiti Now album or $1.99 for the full two-hour video telecast goes to the relief fund.
Sting, Stevie Wonder, Dave Mathews & Neil Young, Jay Z, Bono, Bruce Springsteen, Shakira, Madonna, John Legend, Mary J. Blige, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson and many more performed.
Clooney, Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Clint Eastwood and Matt Damon, Sandra Bullock and many other narrated transitions and storie.
Spielberg, DiCaprio, Chevy Chase, Reese Witherspoon, Julia Roberts and significant others took phone calls and offered their gratitude to callers.
Relief organizations that will benefit from Hope for Haiti Now include the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, the UN World Food Program, Oxfam America, the Red Cross, UNICEF and Yele Haiti Foundation.
Donate Now: 1-877-99-HAITI in US/Canada, or go to www.hopeforhaitinow.org
Photos posted in this blog are courtesy of MTV