In a city where the homeless have it worse than ever, it feels churlish to knock a charitable organization like City Harvest for its new ad campaign, but there’s just no getting around it: NY celebs like Conan O’Brien, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins are depicted along movie stars like Sigourney Weaver and Harrison Ford in what appears to be “genuine” homeless-people locales (or would that be “locations?”) flashing cardboard signs saying “will work for food.”
It’s obviously a “think” campaign, a “there but for the Grace of God go I”-type thing. But the way the celebs are all dressed down to appear somehow less wealthy (Sigourney’s pants and coat even look vaguely…authentic) has the opposite effect on Fishbowl, making the entire thing not just creepy, but hollow. The photo above is probably the look they were going for, but the AD on the shoot probably thought it wouldn’t be authentic enough.
Condescend-o-meter rating (out of 10): 7, and rising.