Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Matt Damon Wants You to Give a Shit About Toilets

Best if he explains in his own words in this video:

It is the first in a series of YouTube videos put together by an unusual alliance of Google, Hollywood, social-media creators and a non-profit advocacy group, The campaign, which was launched on Tuesday and will build up to World Water Day on 22 March, hopes its combination of celebrity, social media and humour will appeal to young people and go viral on the internet.

"It was Matt Damon's idea two years ago: how do we persuade people to give a shit about toilets?" said Chevenee Reavis,'s director of strategic initiatives, during filming of the sketch at Google's YouTube complex in Los Angeles.

Shocking statistics – such as a child dying from a water-related illness every 20 seconds – did not on their own command attention, said Reavis, and had just a five-figure budget for its campaign. That would be enough, perhaps, for half a second of advertising during the Super Bowl, where a 30-second spot costs $4m.

The Kansas-based group, which Damon co-founded, decided to focus on YouTube, in the wake of the stunningly successful Kony 2012 campaign, a short film about the Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony that was made by the non-profit Invisible Children. Kony 2012 was viewed more than 100,000,000 times and stirred a senate resolution. However a follow-up canvassing campaign flopped.

Damon and his collaborators hope their "strike with me" campaign will ignite the internet and pressure Washington to revive the stalled Water for the World Act, which would increase funding for projects in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean.

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