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American Red Cross raises $2.6M for Japan via mobile

The American Red Cross is committed to raising money via mobile for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan last week.

Microsoft and Millennial Media are showing their support by donating mobile banner space in support of the Red Cross’ efforts. As of now, banners that take consumers to mobile landing pages promoting the text-to-donate call-to-action are running on WL Hotmail, VZW Today, WL Messenger, VZW Social Media, MSN Homepage, MSNBC Business, CNBC, VZW Weather and MSN Money.
“Organizations from across the mobile industry want to help the people affected by this terrible disaster, and some have donated mobile banner space in support of American Red Cross efforts,” said Joshua Kittner, senior marketing consultant for digital entertainment at the American Red Cross, Washington.
“We have seen during the Haiti earthquake, and now during this disaster, that people want to engage with the Red Cross across all platforms and channels, including mobile,” he said. 

In addition to Microsoft and Millennial Media, Ringleader Digital, Yahoo and Google also donated mobile ad inventory to the Japan relief efforts.

Banners to drive awareness
The Red Cross has created mobile banners and URLs for inclusion in mobile campaigns. The dedicated landing page tells consumers they can text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation in support of the efforts.

There is also a mobile-optimized site for smartphones.

As of Wednesday afternoon, more than $2.6 million had been donated by the American people via Text REDCROSS.

Many people have helped by making donations, and many have opted-in to receive additional information through text messages from the Red Cross, continuing the relationship.

Social media sites are doing a great job of spreading the text-to-give message.

Text REDCROSS has been a trending topic on Twitter, with people from all walks of life tweeting out the SMS call-to-action.

Twitter generously placed #helpJapan in the promoted trend slot pro bono to keep Japan at the top of every Twitter user’s heart, mind and Twitter screen.

Miley Cyrus, Alyssa Milano, Nancy O’Dell, Leeza Gibbons, Dr. Phil, Wynonna Judd, Sara Evans, Elisabeth Rohm and Marlee Matlin, among others, have tweeted or posted messages on Facebook in support of Red Cross relief efforts.

The mobile banner advertising space donated by Microsoft and Millennial will help to spread the text-to-give effort.

“The strategy behind the Red Cross campaign is to raise awareness and help by donating funds for disaster relief for those affected by the terrible earthquake in Japan,” said Charles Johnson, general manager at Microsoft Mobile Advertising, Redmond, WA.

“The elegance of this campaign is its simplicity,” he said. “Consumers can donate directly by texting the Red Cross and the amount shows up on your next wireless carrier’s bill.  

“The big advantage of having a mobile campaign is that it provides the ultimate in convenience and immediacy for consumers on the go. The Red Cross is a great organization setup to respond to a global crisis quickly and help people in need.”