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Advertising in the Wake of Natural Disasters

September 14 2017 by Jordan Kramer
The last couple weeks have been trying for everyone across the US as we anxiously watched areas in Texas and Florida get rocked by history-making hurricanes. As emotions run high, some brands have used digital advertising campaigns to raise awareness for disaster relief. Big publishers have also pitched in with partnerships to provide ad space for organizations to bring more attention to the relief efforts.
Here are some of the most emotional creatives we’ve come across, created with intent to raise money and awareness for those affected by Hurricane Harvey and Irma. To find out ways you can assist with relief efforts, check out this list from Newsday here.

Habitat for Humanity Teams Up with Realtor.com

If you’ve searched for homes recently on publisher Realtor.com, you most likely came across an ad for Habitat for Humanity. The non-profit is currently the top advertiser on the site and clearly struck a partnership with the pub to promote awareness for donations, in exchange for ad space. The co-branded creatives show some of the devastation in Texas, using imagery to illustrate how you can help. The creatives also strike a cord of gratitude for those looking for new homes while others across the country are fighting to save theirs.



Avenue CDC and the Zillow Group

The Avenue Community Development Corporation of Houston strives to build affordable homes and strengthen communities. Targeting other house-finding sites, Trulia and Zillow, the volunteer organization released four creatives showing a flooded street reminding everyone that “Together, we are stronger.” The creatives were were launched on September 1st and are still running with the goal of raising donations for those that suffered extreme property loss.


Walmart Makes You Reach for the Tissues

In this incredibly heart-wrenching video creative for the massive corporation, consumers are encouraged to donate to relief efforts while Walmart matches donations. The well-known song, Lean on Me, plays throughout the creative as shots of flooded streets and emotional individuals flashes across the screen. The timely creative ran near the end of Hurricane Harvey’s path on September 1st, targeting ESPN sites.

Another video creative for Walmart built upon the previous one, stating that over $25M had been raised for Harvey relief. Highlighting the resilience of Texas, the video states “To the Lone Star State, you are not alone.” Launching a day after the one shown above on September 2nd, the creative ran until September 5th on ESPN sites.

If you have spotted other brands using digital advertising to bring attention to disaster relief efforts, let us know in the comments. To all those impacted throughout Texas and the Southeast, our thoughts are with you. 

About Author
Jordan Kramer

An out-of-the-box thinker with a love for disruptive ideas, Jordan's background spans PR and events for the wedding & hospitality industry in Los Angeles and Scottsdale and also launching one of America's most unique food trucks. She jumped from the food start-up scene to the tech start-up scene in 2013 to join one of the most unique companies in ad tech. Jordan is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication.

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