YouTube Tuesday Plus: The Anti-Defamation League

This post is part of Rassak’s “YouTube Tuesdays Plus” featuring mini critiques of product and service videos (plus other digital brand experiences). New on Tuesdays. Don’t miss one, subscribe.

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Thank you to Rassak client Aislinn Coleman for sending in this video. If the video I wrote about in my last post gave me the shivers, this one gives me the SHIVERS. It’s amazing… powerful… heartwrenching. It’s also a strong, strategic communications piece for the organization that put it out. It’s part of a campaign to mark the 100th anniversary of the Anti-Defamation League—an org with a mission to “stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all citizens alike.”

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Like many older, established orgs, they have a communication and brand perception problem. The world and attitudes change around them. And they must adapt to remain relevant. Just read their mission statement above. It’s complicated. There is research (cited in this insider-basebally but interesting article:  The Two ADLs) that shows that younger Jews don’t relate to the first half of the mission statement but relate easily with the second half. Statistically, younger Jews don’t fret about anti-semitism (and, therefore, the need for anti-defamation) as much as the ADL does. The primary research is here.

This generational divide is echoed in other groups: post feminism, post civil rights … so the idea of  “post anti-semitism” makes sense in a broader context. In all cases you have a prior generation very concerned that the battle is far from over. And a new generation that looks at the problem differently. Perhaps less ethno- or gender-centrically and more universally.

This video and campaign seems to directly address the points raised in the “Two ADLs” article (published in late 2010) and calling for “public statements (that) … universalizes the fight against bigotry…. highlighting [the ADL’s] work against Islamophobia and for gay rights, causes that will energize young Jews.”

The ADL does loads, as the article says and the video claims at the end, to work to universally reduce all prejudice in the US. A lot of their work comes directly from the second half of their mission statement. But it’s typically not that work that gets airtime. In fact, some of what gets airtime creates the perception that they really only are focused on the first half of their mission — sometimes hypocritically so. Their recommendation  for example, that the Mosque and community center near Ground Zero in Manhattan be moved elsewhere adds to this perception. This compounds their communications and brand perception problem.

This video is an attempt to fix it. It’s so inspirational I feel a bit guilty dragging it down into an analysis of brand perception … where’s the Anti Guilt League when you need it?

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