For such a small country as Finland there are quite many donation shows on TV organized in cooperation with NGOs. There are some programs that are every year on television, such as Elämä lapselle (Life for a child), Idols tekee hyvää together (Idols does good) with Kirkon Ulkomaanapu (Finn Church Aid) and Plan ilta lapselle (Plan night for the child). Then there are also those occasional events when something like the tsunami or an earth quake happens.
The marketing before, during and after the show is very professionally done and usually in a nice way. Often the amount of money collected is pretty high. The programs include entertainment, music, interviews with people who have been in the crisis area and can tell what the money can bring to the people and they show often touching stories of the local people’s life. Helping is made very easy and convenient – you can do it lying on your couch in your own warm home eating popcorn. As discussed in class, these initiatives try to capture the attention of the audience, make them interested in the lives of people on the other side of the world, create a desire to help – often based on guilt – and make them act by donating money. Who doesn’t want to help a hungry child living in a rural village in Africa?
If external factors, including the credibility of the brand, trust towards the organization and have an overall positive attitude towards the brand, the likelihood of donating is higher. The donator might even have a strong emotional reaction because of the images he or she is seeing on TV. Values such as family, stability and home play I guess also a role in this type of marketing. For some people there might even be a sense of responsibility towards the poor people in the developing country because we here were lucky enough to be born in a western country and not in a developing country.
There is also the other reality. The people in Africa have their 15 minutes of fame on Finnish national television but might have never seen themselves in the mirror let alone on a picture. Can marketing and tv programs tell the message as it should be told? Does the Finnish audience really understand what life in an African rural village means? Yet another topic is, what really happens to the money? Does anything really change?