Charity films often plays it safe, but here’s one that’s not afraid of risky humour to push home its message. A laugh-out-loud funny charity video.
The World’s Biggest Asshole: DONATE LIFE
Aiming for Millenials
Casting “World’s Biggest Asshole” in your film is not an obvious casting choice for a charity video but it may just help you connect with hard to reach audiences. American charity Donate Life created the character of Coleman F Sweeney and let him loose to work his nasty magic. Making a funny charity video can be a risk but this one pays off.
The video, which features actor Thomas Jane , walks viewers through a day in the life of Sweeney as he does signature “asshole” things, like beep at little old ladies who are trying to cross the street and steal candy out of children’s trick-or-treat buckets. We see him taking potshots at his neighbour’s dog, stinking out the ladies loo, and generally behave in a hilariously awful way. But the day he dies is “the day when Coleman went from asshole to hero,” we are told. Viewers then see all of the people who went on to benefit from his organs, everyone from a father who needed a liver to a young teacher who received Sweeney’s heart.
Knowing your audience
Created by The Martin Agency and directed by Furlined’s Speck and Gordon, this is a fabulously controversial, compelling and creative film. It works through its ability to entertain, shock and effectively drive home the fundamental message that however bad you are – indeed however much of an asshole you can be – you can still transform into a hero by donating your organs.
And for our millenials, fresh out of school or college, the themes of partying, behaving badly and pushing boundaries, (perhaps not as wildly as Sweeny, but still) these themes are bound to resonate, whilst the idea of transformation into a hero through becoming a donor is both powerful and heartwarming.
A Funny Charity Video that hits the target
This really shows the benefit of making a funny charity video that really thinks about the audience its aimed at: within a few days it had over a million views, and now, having reached close to two million, this imaginative, brave film is really capturing the attention of its target audience and most definitely qualifies to be our video choice of the week.
Jeremy Jeffs is a documentary film maker with 15 years experience of directing films for BBC, Channel 4, National Geographic and PBS. He’s recently finished work on a history of China, with broadcaster Michael Wood and his recent feature documentary, Bette Bourne, was shown at the London Film Festival, Sheffield International Documentary Festival and the V&A. More about Jeremy
Magneto Films is an award winning production company that specialises in working with the charity sector, not-for-profits and the public sector. We specialise in telling real stories, working with casestudies and real people to make films that move people to action. More about Magneto Films