'Donate the Bars' Makes Good Use of the Black Bars on a Video

By: Laura McQuarrie - Jan 20, 2016
References: blackbarsdonation & adweek
Black bars on a video occur when a YouTube clip doesn't fit the 16:9 standard. This is simply something that happens to people when they take square or vertical videos, but it results in a lot of wasted on-screen space.

Rather than campaigning to get people to record videos horizontally, J. Walter Thompson Brazil set out to make this space usable. JWT began a project called 'Doe as Barras,' or 'Donate the Bars,' which makes it possible for a YouTube uploader to "donate" the black bars that appear on either side of the video to a NGO group. To do this, a user must go the campaign site in order to upload their video and choose an NGO partner to support.

Since charitable organizations tend to lack big budgets for advertising, this makes it possible for these groups to get exposure in a cost-effective way.