Donation Box: The best idea Apple never had

How's this for an innovative way to raise money for charity? In this promo video, Apple users are encourage to help fund the Salvation Army this Christmas using "Donation Box". Simply drag and drop your unwanted apps into the Box and Apple will donate cash to the charity. Amazing... except unfortunately it's not real.

The promo is so slick and professional, there's no way you'd know this wasn't an official Apple commercial - but it's not. It's actually a project made by a group of advertising students affected by Hurricane Sandy.

The inspiration

"All of us who worked on the idea are living in New York, and several of us were displaced by Sandy into each other's homes," explains one of the group, Westley Taylor. "We took advantage of that week off work (with several art directors stuck in an apartment together) to jam on the idea and execute a tight video to present it."

The team members were Taylor (from Tennessee), Philip Hovensjö (Sweden), Andy Schwitter (Switzerland) and Max Pilwat (Germany). They're all students at Miami Ad School but are currently interning in the Big Apple at digital ad agency 360i.

"This internship created a unique opportunity for us," says Taylor. "All these people, from such different places, were brought together by one agency - and one bigass storm."

The idea

The idea for the 'Donation Box' was born from the notion of app remorse, explains Taylor. "You pay one or two bucks for an app and, after a while, you get tired of it. So what to do with the leftovers?"

Apart from the idea's obvious practical value, there's also a philosophical angle to the project. "This increasingly digital generation has the tendency to lose touch with the physical world. There's a trend in advertising to take advantage of the growing sentiment for analog - vinylphiles, shooting on film, et cetera. People feel over-digital.

"The Donation Box takes this symbol of our digital consumerism, unneeded applications, and brings them back to the real world. And at the same time it does it altruistically. All that was left was to come up with a simple UI mechanic and bingo, there you have it."

Imagine having the choice to select a charity to receive the money you paid for your unwanted apps. We have a simple message for Apple. Please make this app!

Also read:

Have you seen a great idea for an iPhone app? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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