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Aid to refugees, a cry from the heart or marketing ploy?

This first week of September 2015, media through the entire world published the photo of little Aylan Kurdi, 3 years old, a Syrian refugee who was drowned trying to reach Greece and whose body was cast up on Turkish shore. Face to this unbearable incarnation, it incurred agitation in conscience and amplification of solidarity. A lot of internet users all around the world ask how they can concretely help the refugees. As for brands, how to join this movement of revolt and generosity that overtook many European citizens not pretending for recovering? Everything seems to be written in DNA and in historical relation regarding this important humanitarian matter.
Ad hoc actions and doubt about the authenticity of the cause
Nevertheless Uber Britain launches an appeal of generosity and offers to deposit “gifts” that can be left by its customers via the application 20 countries in the nearest aid center or Le Routard which publishes a free guide of aid points to refugees in France (circulation 5000 copies), when humanitarian action is made urgently, the brand impact is mitigated. During an interview in Tourmag, Philippe Gloaguen, the boss of Backpacker editions explains that he acted of “intimate ” and ” humanist” way and denies any “marketing”. But when such gesture is sudden, there is always some doubt…

The discretion of “good students”: the aura of longstanding generosity
Whatever the case Uniqlo makes massive donations of clothes to Syrian refugees in Jordan since 2013 or Ikea who organized, through its foundation, a mattress and blankets donated to Syrian refugees from Iraq, the big brands that have historical background of assistance to NGO helping Syrian refugees in the Middle East or Europe all remained very discreet regarding such actions in their posts or tweets of last week. Low profile and long-term aid are all positive points enabling brands to deeply immerse into this matter they intend to defend for longtime…

Some marketing tools of NGO defending refugees
As evidences the strong and deep impact of the photo of a little drowned 3 year old boy, it is through the shock of images that NGOs have been trying for years to draw attention and help refugees. Last spring, for example, the Australian Association Act for Peace made a buzz by launching a video where a man was walking in Sydney with the message “Refugees are scum” on his chest.

Regarding the means of aid, beyond the traditional donations, NGOs uses the web to enable interaction between donors and aid associations. Very demonstrative is impact on the local basis in France of the site launched by the city of Lille to inform citizens on helping refugees ( or also the site “Calm” (“Like at home”), developped by Singa association which intends to be like Airb’n where individuals can offer a room to one or several refugees. An initiative that make a noise in national press…

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