Dominick Sorrentino

Some of the marriages between digital content and charity of late have been bizarre.

For instance, Wired reported that famous people, such as Ansel Elgort and a host of social media influencers, are doling out NSFW photos in exchange for donations to help those most impacted by COVID-19.

I suppose it’s a consensual exchange, and in the end, the money goes to a good cause.

But most businesses don’t exactly have stockpiles of salacious photos lying around to use for donations.

Fortunately, there are many, much more appropriate ways to add value to the world right now using digital content, and they don’t necessarily even have to entail direct monetary donations.

Here are just a few examples for inspiration:

NASA, Lego celebrate Earth Day’s 50th anniversary with ‘Build A Planet’ challenge

Lego and NASA recently teamed up for a one-day campaign that was part Earth Day celebration, part digital marketing and part welcome distraction for children who are stuck at home right now.

The “Build a Planet” campaign was more or less exactly what it sounds like: Participants build a planet on Earth Day – it could be Earth or another planet – and then share a picture of it on social media.

The concept is a masterclass in developing user-generated content campaigns that are tailored to a target audience, and it worked as planned.

Spotify launches its promised fundraising feature for artists

Charitable organizations and nonprofits are having a really hard time right now. Their help is needed more than ever, but people – and most businesses – only have so much money to give in light of economic downturn.

With this understanding, Spotify has launched a new feature on “Spotify for Artists.” The idea is simple: Artists on Spotify can now highlight a fundraising destination on their page to encourage listeners to donate money.

We’re not sure if this will change many minds, but it can’t hurt. (I mean, remember that time Taylor Swift convinced 165,000 fans to register to vote?)

If nothing else, Spotify’s new feature is an interesting case study of in-app digital content being fused with influencer marketing for the end goal of charity.

Oscar Mayer looks to keep cookout season alive with socially distant barbecues

Cookout season is quickly approaching, which would ordinarily be good news for hot dog companies like Oscar Mayer. But in our era of social distancing, barbecues will just have to wait.

Or will they?

Oscar Mayer recently released a 30-second ad encouraging people to join them in a “Front Yard Cookout.” The video shows people grilling at a safe distance from one another.

To cap off the initiative, Oscar Mayer has already pledged 1 million meals to Feeding America. Every time someone uses the hashtag #FrontYardCookout throughout the month of May, the company will donate another meal, and will continue donating until the month is over or until it hits another 1 million donations (whichever comes first).

Before this is all over, Oscar Mayer may donate as many as 2 million meals to charity, while also garnering a flurry of social media attention.

Sometimes, digital marketing and charity really do go together like hotdogs and mustard.