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

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