At SXSW J. Walter Thompson Worldwide unveiled the global launch of its "Donate the bars" project, which turns the black bars appearing on either side of vertical videos on YouTube into free ad space for charities. Charities participating are Make-A-Wish Foundation, The Bob Woodruff Foundation, Teen Cancer America, Challenged Athletes Foundation, We Are Safe, Good Deeds Day, GiveTheKidsArts.org, UICC Global Cancer Control, Joyful Heart Foundation and No More - and any Youtuber can donate the bars of their vertical videos by signing up on the site. The idea stems from the Brazilian version created in 2015, but it's now global and JWT has enlisted Youtube celebs like Matt Santoro, Cody Simpson, Alli Simpson and Monica Church to participate. Since as many as one out of every six uploaded videos to youtube isn't set for the16:9 aspect ratio, there's plenty of unused black space that can be donated to house ads. NGO's who do charity work don't have media budgets and rely on donated media to get their message out. The project is open to anyone, just get in touch if you're an NGO or creator.
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