The Good Money Pitt

Brad Pitt’s housing project in New Orleans is earning fabulous media this week, and for good reason. It’s a masterful stroke of branded philanthropy. In this case, the brand is Brad. He did all the right things for Make It Right to succeed, in the same way that Andrew Carnegie and Bill Gates did before him, just on a smaller scale. The check list follows:
1. Pitt sent an advance man (in this case himself) to study the region and its problems.
2. He found allies at the Clinton Global Initiative, which has become the “it” conference for nouvelle philanthropy.
3. The content moves him. Pitt has a soft spot for New Orleans and architecture, so the business of the business of rebuilding the Lower Ninth Ward is exciting and that bleeds into his voice on air. Result: an authenticity we rarely find in Hollywood actors when off-script.
4. There is a way for others to join the effort.
5. It’s not straight philanthropy. There is the expectation that residents must pay a modest sum for the homes. This instills pride of ownership and long-term commitment.
There is more Pitt has got right here, like holiday timing, visual appeal of the project, and much more. But let’s watch this unfold. I myself will have a front row seat to enjoy yet another thoughtful performance by an actor who continues to prove he is more than a pretty face.