R&R Stresses the Urgency of Giving

LOS ANGELES Independent R&R Partners has launched the second phase of a campaign on behalf of Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada, according to the agency. Television, print and radio appear this week.

The campaign’s initial phase, which ran last year, introduced people to the non-denominational charity, said Arnie DiGeorge, creative director and copywriter at the Las Vegas shop. The second part encourages people to donate.

An R&R creative team including DiGeorge, art director Robin Milgrim and director Dustin Oliver (of in-house Airwaves Productions) crafted three moody, 30-second TV ads suggesting “urgency without coming right out and saying it,” DiGeorge said. The spots were shot on film rather than video, he said, to evoke a more cinematic, emotionally compelling effect.

In muted colors, one spot shows a long queue of people—not actors, but real-life members of the Catholic Charities program—waiting outside a soup kitchen. Above them, text reads, “The line ends here.” A marker points to the last of those waiting, most leaning against a chain-link fence. After a beat, a second text passage appears; its corresponding marker points to the front of the line. “Without your help,” it reads, “the food will end here.” A white background and the word “give” then replace the image.

In another execution, a neat but simply dressed man walks out of an office building and pulls a duffel bag from behind a shrub. Accompanying text blurbs read, “Finding a place to work is even harder when you don’t have a place to sleep.” Again, the spot ends with a white screen and “give.”

Similar print and outdoor components include depictions of a little girl and her mother living in a gas station bathroom, and a small boy threatened with making his breakfast cereal last all day.

“There’s a lot of reality in these situations,” said DiGeorge.

Because the commercials were shot before Katrina and Rita hit, they “obviously don’t have a hurricane message,” said an R&R representative. But there is a real timeliness to the work, she noted: More than 2,500 evacuees have flocked to the Vegas area, and many have turned to Catholic Charities for help.

The client has “never shut [its] doors on anyone who’s needed food,” DiGeorge said. “Now, there’s urgency.”

In 2004, Catholic Charities’ entire U.S. advertising budget was $900,000, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. The charity spent $400,000 from January to July this year. A regional spend was not available.