As we were watching TV the other night, the below commercial popped up. I saw it in a glance and had to rewind it to make sure I saw what I was seeing.
As you’ll see, it’s a beautiful Christmas-themed commercial with a pretty little girl dreaming of Christmas and snow…in an area where snow would be a “miracle”…and then she sees (what she thinks is) a snowflake and discovers it is actually firebrand ash, as a house down the block is on fire. It is VERY on fire. And then… across the screen, the American Red Cross asks the viewers for a donation.
Clearly, the Red Cross does good stuff. There isn’t a significant incident where the Red Cross wasn’t there along with any of us, supporting us and the victims.
HOWEVER…
I can’t help but think that perhaps a SMOKE ALARM (or fire safety) MESSAGE could have been a significant part of the ad…
“SMOKE ALARMS SAVE LIVES…check yours TODAY!”
“SMOKE ALARMS make wonderful stocking stuffers!”
“If you need a smoke alarm, the Red Cross will give you one!”
“CONSIDER a residential fire sprinkler system in your next home!”
SOMETHING.
 
ANYTHING in addition to the “that house is on fire-give us with a donation” something (while you have the viewers’ attention) that carries the message of fire safety. 
Sometimes organizations don’t see beyond their own missions or interests – and fail to consider what may be best for those beyond the walls of their own organization. When that happens, there is often a missed opportunity to help beyond (or in addition to) that organization’s own needs. This commercial seems like a pretty good example.
The happy Christmas theme is interrupted by a tragic event down the block without a mention of what may have helped the victims to begin with.
Take a look:
Take Care. Be Careful. Pass it On. Smoke Alarms Make GREAT gifts!