Be Good for Goodness’ Sake

If you spend much time taking public transit, you’ve seen billboards and bus ads meant to make you shop, travel, go back to school or get your teeth whitened. How often do you see one that makes you feel uplifted?

I first noticed a People for Good ad while waiting on a subway platform, and was intrigued and thrilled. (Never mind that, just a few feet away, some stumbling drunk was relieving himself into the train tunnel. True story.) Point is, here was a beautiful, eye-catching ad representing a significant effort to tell our entire city how delightful it is to do good.

Take a jaunt over to the People for Good website and you’ll get a sense of what the folks behind this social movement are hoping to achieve. Not to mention their tongue-in-cheek humour, which makes any preaching go down easy. “Our goal is to make the world a better place, one good deed at a time,” states the manifesto. They just want people to act like they care. They call it a community “glue.”

Awesome – let’s all get sticky.

Although about a kadzillion people have been named on the website as having contributed toward this nationwide campaign, the two key Canadians who sparked it are Zak Mroueh and Mark Sherman. Both men work in media and communications. And yes, they pulled in a few professional contacts to pull this off.

But, says Zak, “On a personal level, it’s been incredibly rewarding and fulfilling to deliver such a pure message… Everyone who has been involved in the execution and creation of this campaign has told stories of how it has affected or changed how they behave each day.”

They’ve also been overwhelmed by the positive public response. There have been articles, radio programs, TV spots. The word is spreading. The good-deed ideas are catching on. “We’ve heard stories of people ‘high-fiving’ the transit posters,” says Zak, adding wistfully that he’d love to see that firsthand.

The campaign was started at the end of June and will officially end August 21, but Zak and Mark are hoping to expand it later this year. “This is just the start,” Zak assures us. “Until we have 6 billion people join the movement, the campaign hasn’t really completed its task.”

Sounds ambitious, doesn’t it? But it feels so darn good.

6 responses to “Be Good for Goodness’ Sake

  1. You can’t imagine my joy at seeing the front page of the Toronto Star this Saturday and reading about this campaign. A good news story on the front page – about time! 🙂

    You and me are just two people who believe wholeheartedly in this movement, and we are clearly not alone. It kicks off your day right, it ends it on a high note.

    Ambitious? Not at all, Lisa … not at all!

  2. Definitely not alone, Lorin… I loved Zak’s line about not being satisfied until 6 billion people join the movement (although as of October, he’ll have to raise his sights to 7 billion!).

    And the link to the Toronto Star article is here, if anyone is interested:
    http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/1032545–honest-to-goodness-there-s-no-catch-with-this-ad-campaign

  3. Thanks for posting the link to the Star article … definitely worth reading. My hat’s off to those guys! Now, excuse me while I do some good deeds …

  4. Linda Ruth Ciglen

    Both the article and your post were uplifting! We’re out of the city, so I’ve yet to spot any of these transit ads – something to look forward to upon our return.

    Linda Ruth

  5. Thanks for the comment, Linda Ruth! Definitely keep an eye out for these. For those people outside of Toronto, the ads are also running in several other cities including Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Montreal and Halifax.

  6. Pingback: People Often for Good | 50 Good Deeds

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