Create for a Cause Looking for Best in Digital PSAs

Yahoo, Ad Council Join in Second Annual Competition

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Yahoo and the Ad Council today are announcing the launch of the second annual Create for a Cause competition to recognize the best in digital advertising for public service campaigns.

The contest will run from Oct. 11 to Dec. 3 and will be open to all agencies that have created digital efforts for nonprofit and federal government agencies. Last year's contest was open only to agencies that ran campaigns with the Ad Council. The winner will be announced on Jan. 5, with the winning campaign running on Yahoo's sign-in page, one of the most highly trafficked advertising properties on the internet.

"We decided to expand it because we had such great response last year from the agencies that work with the Ad Council, and the Ad Council itself," says Mollie Spilman, senior VP-B2B marketing at Yahoo. "This year we said, 'Wouldn't it be great to open it up to all agencies that work for nonprofits?' because there is such great work going on out there."

Says Barbara Shimaitis, senior VP-interactive services at the Ad Council, "Last year, we had kind of a tight turnaround on it, so [Yahoo] opted to just take Ad Council campaigns. It made things a little bit easier all the way around. It went so well—they got really good feedback from everyone—they wanted to include other nonprofits."

Last year's winner was "Boost Up," the U.S. Army's high school dropout prevention program created by Publicis New York. "We got a lot of response on that ad," Shimaitis says. "It was just phenomenal."

For Create for a Cause, agencies can submit new campaigns, tweak exiting ones or use efforts already running. Judges for the contest are Peggy Conlon, president-CEO of the Ad Council; Rob Rasmussen, chief creative officer, Tribal DDB; Nick Parish, North American editor of Contagious magazine; and digital philosopher Ze Frank.

Shimaitis says the Ad Council is looking forward to working with Yahoo on Create for a Cause this year. "Yahoo has always been a great, great partner to the Ad Council and to not-for-profit work," she says. "They've always been one of the leaders in digital. They were one of the early leaders ... working with the Ad Council in the early stages of online and digital when it was just static banners."

Create for a Cause is a part of Yahoo for Good, the company's philanthropic platform. "It fits in with our overall Yahoo for Good, which is focused on good and giving back. How do we as a company give back? How do we share our presence around the world to get our communities involved?" Spilman says. "It's part of the reason why we have employees who feel so committed to the company because we have that kind of culture."