The Salvation Army of Canada (unlike some politicians here in the states) believes that “No one should have to call the streets home.” That’s the phrase Toronto agency Cossette inscribed on home address signs and left in a variety of public locations (like bus stops and park benches) people frequent throughout the day that are also used as places to sleep by the homeless.
“The problem with homelessness is that it’s often easy to ignore. We wanted to jolt the public by putting messages in places – and in a manner – that would surprise them,” explains Cossette co-chief creative officer Matt Litzinger, adding “we continue to turn that communications experience on its head by telling our audience that these same locations are also places that street people call home.”
Cossette and Salvation Army of Canada also gave people the opportunity to make a five dollar donation via text, with a number included on the home address signs. Using unusual locations and the sense of the out of place to help call attention to homelessness is a smart tactic. Immediately giving them an opportunity to do something about it (before they forget) is the icing on the cake.
The video for the campaign keeps it simple, choosing to let the outdoor campaign tell its own story, with only a textual explanation and background music accompanying the shots of the home address signs at different locations. Since the outdoor campaign is the real message, this is all that’s necessary, adding anything else would just detract from the message.