because that the first time, the joined Negro College money is using genuine prospective college students in that ads in lieu of actors. joined Negro College money hide caption



because that the an initial time, the united Negro College money is using real prospective university students in its ads in lieu that actors.

You are watching: A mine is a terrible thing to waste

joined Negro College money

A psychic Is a damaging Thing come Waste — you understand the phrase, you"ve heard it.

That"s due to the fact that the top slogan, dreamt up by the advertising firm Young & Rubicam go back an ext than 4 decades. It was supposed to promote the joined Negro College money scholarship program for black students. The slogan practically component of the nationwide consciousness, favor Have a Coke and also a smile.

The early ads looked a lot choose this:


OK, for this reason they weren"t constantly this trippy or heavy-handed. Yet that to be the general tone. Actors dramatized just exactly how stark fact was for the children who got UNCF scholarships. The education of black youngsters was framed together an issue of social justice in urgent-sounding voice-overs by the likes of Ossie Davis and also Samuel L. Jackson. An ext than fifty percent the youngsters who receive scholarship money indigenous the UNCF are the very first in their family members to to visit college, and also most come from families with incomes of much less than $25,000 a year.

Here"s one more UNCF point out (directed by Spike Lee) from around a te after the one above:


If measured purely in branding terms, the "Mind Is a terrible Thing to Waste" project has to be enormously effective for 4 decades. But the fence of this sort of longevity is that people begin to feel your article is old and also outdated. (As outdated, some can argue, together the usage of words "negro" in "United negro College Fund.")


At an event at the department of education and learning in Washington, D.C., on Friday afternoon, the UNCF announced a brand-new ad campaign. Michael Lomax, the head the the UNCF, said the organization made decision to quit using actors because that its ads in favor of genuine college kids. And it adjusted its well known slogan to something a tiny longer and clunkier: "A mental Is a destructive Thing come Waste but a Wonderful point to Invest In." The brand-new campaign"s tagline is called "Invest in far better Futures."

Several present undergraduate students who had received UNCF scholarships take it the stage and also spoke movingly about their aspirations and how the scholarship money carried those desires closer come realization. Each of the student punctuated his or she story through the very same phrase: "I am your dividend."

In other words, offering to the UNCF yields a high return on investment.

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UNCF has gone from making use of the language of neighborhood activists to utilizing the language that stockbrokers. UNCF disclosure scholarships for negative black youngsters as a functional great with quantifiable benefits the optimizes value creation. It"s language that might not be the end of location in a major corporation"s diversity mission statement. It"s language that"s difficult to controversy with due to the fact that it"s pointedly about the bottom line. And also not about race.


Tell us: how would girlfriend go around encouraging donations for the UNCF? What would certainly your project look like?

*We"ll be doing a longer piece on historically black colleges and universities top top Monday. Remain tuned.