JWT Turns the Black Bars on Vertical YouTube Videos Into Ad Space for Nonprofits

Anyone can join the 'Donate the Bars' project

Headshot of Tim Nudd

Turning every usable surface into marketing space is known as ad creep. But this YouTube project by J. Walter Thompson Brazil gets away with it—because the beneficiaries are nonprofits who generally don't have the budgets to advertise in existing paid media.

When vertical videos are posted on YouTube, two black bars appear on each side. With thousands upon thousands of videos uploaded daily, that amounts to a huge amount of unused space—which JWT is mobilizing with its "Doe as Barras" ("Donate the Bars") project. And anyone can participate.

It works like this: Any YouTube user who is uploading a square or vertical video can do so through the doeasbarras.com.br website—and donate the black bars as media space for an NGO. It works from desktop or mobile. Check out the explanatory video here:

Some of the NGOs that have joined the project include Alcoólicos Anônimos, Ampara Animal, Afroreggae, Associação Brasil Parkinson, Gravidez Sem Álcool and Instituto Ayrton Senna. Other nonprofits can participate by inquiring on the website.

"We hope to give these institutions dedicated to important social causes an opportunity to share their actions and messages with a broader audience and with no cost, transforming a useless space into a media outlet," says Ricardo John, chief creative officer at J. Walter Thompson Brazil.


Agency: J.Walter Thompson

CCO: Ricardo John                  

Head of Planning: Isabella Mulholland

Head of Art: Fabio Simoes

Creative directors: Hernán Rebaldería / Gustavo Lacerda

Copywriter: Pedro Araujo

Art directosr: Fernando Palandi, Pedro Ricci

Account team: Thiago Galdi, Yves Rodrigues, Marcela Castelli

Media team: João Dabbur, Siloe Neves

Chief Strategy Officer: Fernand Alphen

Creative Technologist: Drausio Tronolone

Motion Designer: Marco Loschiavo

Head of Digital Production: Maisa Delgado

Digital Producer: Helio Valente

Production company: Epico Digital

Sound: Shuffle

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.
Publish date: October 6, 2015 https://dev.adweek.com/creativity/jwt-turns-black-bars-vertical-youtube-videos-ad-space-nonprofits-167398/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT