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The life cycle of Sarah McLachlan’s ASPCA ad June 3, 2012

Posted by rmshepard in Uncategorized.
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The now famous ad for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) starring Sarah McLachlan was an instant success. Released in 2007, the ad raised over $30 million in one year and broke nonprofit fundraising records for a single commercial. Within a year, the ad attracted 200,000 new donors to the organization. At some point, though, the ad appeared to backfire. After a few years, many viewers mocked the ad for its guilt appeals. It went on to be spoofed by not only countless amateur comedians on YouTube, but Saturday Night Live and South Park as well.

To see the ad yourself (as if you have not already…), watch the following video:

Discussion Questions:

1.  Why was the ASPCA ad featuring Sarah McLachlan so powerful at first?

2.  Why did the Sarah McLachlan ad eventually backfire? In other words, what made it so unpopular?

3.  Is the ASPCA ad still effective?

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