Y&R Readies Salvation Army Ads

Young & Rubicam in April will launch a national campaign for the Salvation Army focusing on the people behind the services.

The work will run through June and will include spot TV, network radio, Internet banners and national magazine and newspaper buys. Y&R places about $8 million in media each year for the nonprofit organization, said Jennifer Moore, the Dearborn, Mich., agency’s senior account supervisor for the Salvation Army.

The upcoming campaign includes a 30-second spot called “Tools” that focuses on the Army’s people, Moore said. Companion radio work will use the same voiceover as the TV spots, and print will feature the same images, she said.

In the spot, Salvation Army workers are shown helping homeless people and assisting a man with a drug problem, Moore said. While the characters are portrayed by actors, the one who plays a homeless man actually was on the streets until a few years ago, she said. The man is now a character actor in Los Angeles who volunteers at a Salvation Army homeless shelter.

Y&R became the first national agency for the Alexandria, Va., group in August 1996. Ford Motor Co. executive Edsel Ford, who is on the Salvation Army’s advisory board, asked all of Ford’s shops to submit a proposal for the account and Y&R was chosen, Moore said.

Y&R makes a commission on media, some of which is donated, Moore said. It buys all network radio, which is an especially large part of the mix, in part because it’s cheaper, she said.

Y&R’s spots will run on 12,000 stations nationwide.

Since the FTC stop ped requiring me dia outlets to run pro bono spots, it has be come harder to secure the donated time, she said.

The spring campaign is timed in part to coincide with National Salvation Army Week in May.

Each campaign Y&R creates for the organization runs for two consecutive years. The Salvation Army also focuses on the holiday season with a campaign running each October through December.