Congratulations to One Laptop Per Child! Now, in addition to the marketing prowess of the MIT Media Lab, it now has two divisions of marketing heavyweight W2 Group behind it to "achieve measurable results".
And what results might OLPC need to achieve? They already have convinced folks there's a "$100 laptop" powered by a hand crank that will magically provide education to the world's children by teaching them how to "learn learning"?
It seems that OLPC needs more. In a six-month, pro bono campaign, W2 will:
[R]each out to as many journalists and influencers as possible to spread the word of the computer and the participating countries. The end hope is that the clamor will help impel other countries to sign on.Wait, why does OLPC need "influencers" to convince new countries to join this grand experiment? You mean Nicholas Negroponte's "implementation miracle" isn't convincing by itself?
And if the target market is the political and educational leadership of the developing world, the influencers and decision makers that will green light the massive investment OLPC asks for, why will the promotion focus on:
Web-based and broadcast media like 60 Minutes. The agency has already shot b-roll for broadcast stories. Soon the campaign will produce PSAs with celebrities promoting OLPC, to run on YouTube and Google, a longtime partner of the project. The organization will also target traditional media like Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Harper's, and Esquire.Help me here, but when was the last time you met a President who made major policy decisions effecting his country's entire educational system, off a public service announcement in Rolling Stone or on YouTube? Wait, don't answer that, but do understand the point.
How can this be an ad campaign to change the minds of those this project will impact the most; children in the developing world, and their parents? They do not watch Google Video, 60 Minutes, or read Esquire.
No, this is an ad campaign to influence those with the money, the massive funding required to spend $30 Billion dollars a year on the Children's Machine XO: You. You, and every other "rich" country donor.
What might be the first move? Check out the slick new OLPC website, hover over the arrow to read:
participate: Invest your money and your time in One Laptop per Child FoundationAnd then click through to the OLPC Foundation website.
There you will find the beginnings of an "ask", the request for time and money for the OLPC Foundation. While the money donation request is rudimentary now, expect it to be as slick as the rest of the OLPC marketing mix soon enough.
But don't get too excited about the time "ask" just yet. That handy "Application for OLPC Volunteer Service" leads to a laptop request form, not a volunteer one. And good luck to whomever is on the other end of Special OLPC Laptop Program Application.
You're about to get millions of "asks" for that - starting with mine, right about now..