Beyond Madison Avenue has an interesting post about Sara McLachlan's World on Fire video, which cost $15 to produce. The $150k alloted for production went to 11 charities and will potentially help a million people.
Instead of blowing the money on the video, McLachlan used it to encourage people to think and to help people in need. Her altruism was rewarded with some great, positive attention, an enhanced reputation and a Grammy nomination for Best Short Form Video. Sounds win-win to me.
Mike Swenson at Barkley & Evergreen suggests a similar strategy for Super Bowl advertisers. It's really kind of surprising that no one has adopted the strategy yet. Maybe next year.
Hat tip: New Millennium PR