"Key(words)" For Helping Homeless: Barcelona, Spain

In the palms of our hands, we hold endless knowledge.  The Internet allows us to stay connected to the world, letting us read and watch the news mere seconds after an event occurs.  We are less isolated from the world than ever before, allowing us to quickly be informed on the latest changes in our surroundings.  Sometimes, however, we fail to take advantage of the technology.  Our most visited websites allow us to focus on our high school classmate’s recent vacation to Cancun and the newest viral cat video, rather than more profound news.  Advertising agents are all too aware of this weakness, purposefully purchasing ads on videos with “keywords” that they expect will attract viewers. 

An organization in Barcelona, Spain, has decided to take advantage of these advertisements.  Arrels Fundació release a video in May to attract not only viewers, but advertisements.  They carefully chose those words that attract advertising companies: “love”, “shoes”, “home”, “handbags” and more.  The shelter hoped these words would entice companies to pay for advertising slots, inadvertently supporting Arrels Fundació.  This bold campaign comes at a time of great need for Barcelona, with economic troubles plaguing the nation and more than 3,000 homeless people in Barcelona. 

Whether the Arrels Fundació ploy succeeds or not, it paved the way for charitable organizations to a new source of funds.  Plus, Arrels Fundació spreads an important message.  If advertising agents have determined that viral videos are likely to include material keywords like “clothes”, “mansion”, and “credit cards”, should we reconsider the way we use the Internet?