The future of NGO communications?

23/02/2014 at 4:44 pm 2 comments


At Dóchas, we spend a lot of time thinking about how we communicate global “development”.

But what we did not expect was that for-profit companies – people who try to sell us “stuff” – were also interested in this.

Or are we misinterpreting these ads?

What do you think, e.g. of this Guinness ad about the Sapeurs in Congo?

Or of this ad by Innocent?

Let us know what you think of these ads, and whether you think they have any relevance for the way NGOs talk about “aid” and “development”.

(Or maybe you just want to point out that NGOs can’t afford to spend £3.5 million on a tv ad, like Innocent did?)

Here’s another Innocent Chain Of Good video, this one in support of Practical Action:

chain of good

Also read:


Entry filed under: NGOs. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

NGO Partnerships, NGO Accountability & NGO Principles Good news from the developing world – some real-life examples

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Dóchas  |  23/02/2014 at 5:33 pm

    We’ve already got a few comments on these ads over on

  • 2. Hans Zomer  |  24/02/2014 at 12:42 pm

    Comments received on Facebook:

    * This is a terrible image. Quite ridiculous really. Very idiotic. Is this a joke? The chain reference is ironic.

    * I like the Innocent One. In relation to the guys from Nigeria yes they are colourful but you cannot buy class. Actions speak louder than words, and how you dress.

    * Good post. For me it shows a number of positives among them are (a) that ngos arent the only ones impacting on or engaged with development (b) perhaps ironic thats its private sector orgs who are proving to be more innovative and less stereotypical in their portrayals and (c) arguably why perhaps the Code of Conduct should take a broader perspective in its approach. Thanks Dochas!

    * Thanks, interesting post. But I’ll probably should drop Innocent smoothy and replace it by Guinness (though I think the smoothy taste better… Mark the Smoothy drinker saving the world is just ridiculous and exactly the contrary of the critical engagement with global justice we are striving for…!

    * To add another perspective to this debate. Obviously these ads are just another sneaky marketing campaign to make us buy their products. if you drink innocent smoothy you buy yourself off from any further engagement in changing the world, making a difference and act for global justice because the company behind innocent smoothy already provides you with the 10% smoothy heroism. There is a great explanatory about this friendly capitalism explained by Slavoy Zizek.
    I find it rather disturbing that the corporate world is now using this new narrative of telling stories which I think already existed before these ads e.g. by Radi Aid


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