Volunteering. Community service. Giving back. What if we could take the sum of all these selfless acts and apply them to Daylight Saving Time weekend? That is the basic concept of Serve 60, a national initiative that promotes volunteering and community service by asking all Americans to donate the 60 minutes lost or gained during Daylight Saving Time weekend to a nonprofit or serve within their communities.
Cause-related campaigns and events always resonated with me, as a longtime marketing, advertising and PR professional, the most. Working for iconic brands such as Burger King, Harley-Davidson, Pizza Hut and PlayStation throughout my career combined with my involvement in volunteering as a teenager were the catalysts that led me to create Serve 60. As the founder of Serve 60, I searched for an impactful way to create a hybrid of both my passions -- marketing and giving back. I found the perfect combination with Serve 60. Think advertising agency that focuses on a special niche of volunteering and cause-related campaigns and events.
Since Serve 60’s inception in fall 2009, it has created some exciting events and forged some fantastic partnerships, including one with Willie Nelson’s Farm Aid 25. But the partnership that truly inspires me is our partnership with the Marcus Graham Project. MGP, founded by my friend and collaborative business partner, Lincoln Stephens, is a nonprofit based in Dallas that is comprised of a national network of professionals (including me) who are developing and mentoring the next generation of thought leadership and diversity within the advertising, media, PR and marketing industry. The organization was named after a character in the 1992 film “Boomerang,” in which Eddie Murphy played an ad executive.
Searching for a project to work together on, Lincoln and I decided to create and produce a 60-hour global campaign that combines social media, traditional networking, diversity, volunteering and community service called The Boomerang Effect. The campaign is a social media experiment that utilizes various components to activate a powerful message of volunteerism and giving back through mentorship while also helping to raise awareness and resources for his nonprofit, the Marcus Graham Project, and its programs.
Now in our second year of collaboration, MGP and Serve 60 have expanded the purpose and scope of the Boomerang Effect for 2011. The campaign starts March 11, with nationwide networking events aimed at advertising, marketing and public relations professionals to raise awareness and resources for MGP as well as encourage volunteering over Daylight Saving Time weekend.
The networking events will be held in 12 U.S. cities: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, Dallas, Washington, Detroit, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Cincinnati and Milwaukee. On March 12, the campaign kicks into high gear by activating the mission of Serve 60, encouraging at least 60 minutes of volunteering and community service.
All across the country, industry professionals and other volunteers will work with youth organizations—such as Digital Youth Network in Chicago, Jonathan Levine High School for Media and Communications in New York and Cal State students in Los Angeles—to create 60-second public service announcements encouraging volunteering and giving back to the community. The PSAs will then be uploaded on the Boomerang Effect YouTube site on March 13, where all entrants will compete for a $1,500 scholarship prize based on viewer and panel votes.
We also have several partners and marketing professionals on board to help ensure the success of this year’s events, including Lisa Wright of Magic Johnson Enterprises, Tiffany Edwards of the One Club, Los Angeles-based agency Walton Isaacson, Tiffany Warren of AdColor and professionals from Miami-based Results Driven Agency.
It is our hope that our fellow industry professionals will not only help spread awareness of our efforts but actually join us in one of the 12 cities during Daylight Saving Time weekend and donate one hour for a good cause. At Serve 60, we truly believe the words of our slogan: “Change your clock. Change the world.”