As the video above admirably explains, Robin of Shoreditch are an anonymous group of creative outlaws that are doing what they know how to do to help Haiti - creating ideas for brands.
Specifically the top 100 brands by brand value, as listed on the BrandZ report that WPP puts together.
[Warning: This is a digression about brand valuation methodologies - you can skip it if you want...
The BrandZ valuation is made using discounted cash flow analysis
This is the sum of all future earnings attributable to the brand discounted to account for risk over time.
This is pretty standard accounting stuff, but, as with all financial modeling, if you look closely at how it works, it's basically certain opinions, assumptions and predictions, structured into a spreadsheet.
The brand multiple is derived using the proprietary Brand Voltage metric, which
"takes into account how many people are very loyal to the brand (the brand's bonding score) and claimed purchasing data for the category to produce a single Brand Voltage number."
This means asking lots of people what they claim to do and then using it to guess what they will do in the futre.
Anyway, the final formula is this:
A big chunk of the formula is based on proprietary, claimed survey data that's been crunched in a certain way, which is worth keeping in mind.
You can get the whole Brandz 2010 report here - and you should read it.
There's lots of sensible thinking in it.
And making what we do make sense to the finance guys is important.
But always remember, when looking at research, that the methodology dictates both the nature and expression of the results, to a greater or less extent.
End of Digression]
And then invoicing them for one ten millionth of their supposed brand value if they want to use the idea - the money going straight to the Disaster Emergency Committee in Haiti.
[To give you a number your brain can parse: since Nike was valued $11.9 million [in 2009], the brand will have to pay $1,199.90.]
So this is just lovely, isn't it?
GO ON - try and be all cynical about this. I DARE YOU. Anonymous. GOOD THINGS. Haiti.
And maybe, just maybe, it's a reminder that part of what makes brands valuable is their values.
The videos are simple and charming and have interesting IDEAS THAT DO in them and everything [I haven't found a single ad idea among them yet].
Here's one for T-Mobile about wishing everyone you know Happy Birthday for free with a reminder service that uses Open Graph [née Facebook Connect] - because, y'know, life's for sharing.
This is good because, rather than trying to wrap product ads inside the brand platform - it is a product/service that brings the brand platform into the thing that the customer actually experiences and pays for and that.fa
Good work lads.
Little John: Are we good guys or bad guys? Our robbin' the rich to feed the poor?
Robin Hood: Rob? Tsk Tsk Tsk. That's a naughty word, we never rob! We just sort of borrow a bit from those that can afford it.
Little John: Borrow? Boy are we in debt!