In an effort to remind world leaders of the steps they took to eradicate world poverty by 2015, Young & Rubicam/New York teamed with the United Nations for a cross-platform, comprehensive effort to motivate global citizens to take mass action against poverty. Joining in are a cast of resources and personages as different as those affected by poverty worldwide, including rapper Mista Raja; Dave Matthews, who broke his advertising cherry and licensed music for the campaign; Hornet's band of bunnies; Peter Sluszka's vegetable man; YouTube celebrities LonelyGirl, Renetto and the Virtual Magician; the VML-created Stand Up website; search optimization from Google; $10 million in donated media secured by MediaEdge:cia; the Times Square ball, raised the first time ever on a day other than New Year's; supporters at the England vs. India cricket match; dozens of YouTube response videos and, of course, the Guinness folks to see if the millions of people participating—by standing up—amount to a record.
Brian McDermott, creative director on the project, says the effort is poised to surpass the previous record for a group action—which mobilized under a million people—but the decision to appeal to the YouTubers wasn't immediate. "YouTube struck us as having the most engaged group. They don't just do things with notes, they don't just do things with music—they do it all," says McDermott. "We thought this is the kind of person we want to get involved, we want doers to get involved. Everything we did had to be something that would engage people to try to engage more people."