Unicef's 'Tap Project' pushes for online and text donations

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Unicef, aided by a collection of agency partners, is supporting World Water Week with its “Tap Project,” an initiative to raise money for clean drinking water for poor children.

Creative agency Droga5 and media placement firm MediaVest Worldwide are aiding the Unicef initiative, which is soliciting consumer donations online and through mobile text messages.

The campaign's digital elements include a WAP site created by Photobucket, banner ads and a text-to-donate option. Consumers can text the shortcode TAP to UNICEF to give $5 to the cause.

MediaVest is working with more than 90 vendors — 50 of them online — to provide pro bono ad space in digital, print and out-of-home channels.

The digital promotions drive to tapproject.org, where users can also donate. Consumers can also opt-in to receive more information and updates from the Tap Project via e-mail on the site.

World Water Week, which runs from March 21 to 27, started in 2007 when nonprofits asked customers in New York restaurants to donate $1 when they ordered tap water. By last March, 21 agencies were involved and ads promoting the program ran in 19 cities.

This year, the initiative is scaled back and focused more on digital than restaurant donations, though establishments across the country are still encouraged to get involved.

Only eight agencies and five cities are running ads for the 2010 campaign. The cities are Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle and Washington, DC.

“We're currently in a tightened marketplace,” said Casey Weinreich, connections manager for MediaVest USA, referring to the tough economy. She added that fewer companies are involved because many had already donated pro bono space to support relief efforts after January's Haiti earthquake.  

Inquiries to Unicef and Droga5 were not immediately returned.

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