The Danes Nailed Identity
February 24, 2023
Kevin Schulman, Founder, DonorVoice and DVCanvass
The team of 4,297 Agitator/DonorVoice highly paid, professional researchers were certainly asleep at the switch in 2017 when this ad from Danish broadcaster TV2 first aired.
Let me first get my biases out of the way. I’m maritally required to love Denmark, which comes easy because I love Denmark.
Having said that, I think you and the 9 million viewers of the ad will agree, it does a great job of showing the Identity concept we preach.
The ad opens with people walking into a room and standing in pre-defined squares marked on the floor – one for business people, immigrants, teenagers etc.
The voiceover says, “It’s easy to put people in boxes. There is us and them. The high earners and those just getting by. The new Danes and those who have always been here. The people from the countryside and those who have never seen a cow.”
A man then appears, asking the participants to relocate based on a series of questions, the first being, “Who in this room was the class clown?” You see people step forward from a cross-section of their prior boxes.
More questions follow, such as “Who are the step-parents? and “Who loves to dance?” as you see more commingling into new boxes.
We don’t need to overtalk this ad, it’ll show you better than we have tried to say it. Suffice to say,
- We all have lots of Identities
- Each Identity has different values and goals
- When an Identity is activated by fundraising the person is deciding whether giving to you is in keeping with their values and goals.
- Messaging in a way that shows we know their Identity and values is way more useful than messaging about Issue X or Program Y.
- Most of the time (not always) the Identities that really matter aren’t the ones you can see.
- Two people who look very different on the outside could be identical on what really matters – a shared Identity that connects them to your cause.