Artist Furnishes Manholes Like Little Apartments to Draw Attention to Homelessness

Not to be outdone by recent, socially-conscious publicity stunts, Italian artist Biancoshock made one of his own in Milan, decorating a series of manholes like rooms in an apartment.

The Trick Copy on These Clever Ads Shows Another Side to Homelessness

Here's a clever outdoor campaign from Publicis London for the homelessness charity Depaul that manages to tell two different stories with the same copy.

Homeless People Read Mean Tweets in This Heartbreaking PSA

People reading mean tweets is turning into a PSA genre.Last month, the Canadian Safe School Network took Jimmy Kimmel's hit comedy bit, usually featuring celebrities, and repurposed it as a potent anti-cyberbullying ad. Now, Raising the Roof Canada has upped the ante even further with a stunning and heartbreaking spot about the homeless.

This Art Director Beautifully Redesigns Homeless People’s Signs

America's homeless face myriad challenges, from mental illness to problems with addiction and substance abuse to amateur typography. The last of those is something that a Chicago art director is trying to address through a project called The Urban Type Experiment.

Airbnb for Gingerbread Houses? Fully Baked Parody Is a Sweet Fundraiser for Homeless

Well, this is adorable. For its pro-bono holiday project, agency McKinney created Gingerbreadbnb.com, a site that mimics Airbnb but lets you book virtual stays at confectionary cabins instead.

Next Up in Useful Outdoor Ads: Billboards That House the Homeless?

Outdoor ads have been physically demonstrating a commitment to environmental causes for a while. Here's a project that aims to make a difference in a social issue.Design Develop, an architectural design firm in Slovakia, has embarked on The Gregory Project, an initiative to turn billboard spaces into actual living spaces for the homeless.Roadside boards in that country feature two surfaces that face oncoming drivers in both directions—creating a triangular space in between. The Gregory Project would build small two-room apartments in those spaces—one room with an entrance hall, kitchen with a small desk and a raised bed with storage underneath, and the other room being a bathroom.The ad space would help offset the cost of construction, and the houses would already be wired for electricity because of the lights that illuminate the boards at night.It's a great idea to optimize existing structures, especially when you consider the additions wouldn't infringe on the billboard. See more about the project here, including blueprints for the apartments. More images below.Via PSFK.

Fashion Mannequins Fall on Hard Times in Homeless Advocacy Campaign

Mannequins usually symbolize the consumer ideal of the "good life," draped in couture and jewelry in department-store window displays. But now they've fallen on hard times in a JWT stunt meant to raise money for Amsterdam's growing homeless population.

Would You Recognize a Loved One Dressed Like the Homeless? These People Didn’t

Most city dwellers tend to avoid eye contact with the homeless, a fact that made one advocacy group wonder: Would you recognize your own relatives if they were living on the street?

How Do You Break Through Apathy? One Agency Tries for Rage

Pleas to help the poor are usually ignored. So what if you turned things around and started advocating against the poor? Would anyone come to their defense?Publicis London put that question to the test with an experiment for The Pilion Trust. The agency stuck a guy with a "FUCK THE POOR" sandwich board on a busy London street and filmed people telling him off.After plenty of heated reactions, including a police officer telling him "that's offensive" and a near fight with a homeless man, the organizers flipped the sign around to say "HELP THE POOR" in the same font, same presentation, and filmed everyone ignoring him. The resulting film has already gone viral, with over 1.2 million views in three days.It's an interesting experiment, but does it really prove that people care about the poor? It seems more like it proves that people enjoy being self-righteous on topics where they know most people agree with them. The truth is, it doesn't cost anything to be offended.I'd like to see if those people who got upset really did care enough to give. Publicis should design another experiment with two guys, one with a "help the poor" just down the street from the "fuck the poor" guy. Then we'll see how many people who yelled at one actually donated to the other.

Could the Homeless Boost ROI With Sexier, Snazzier, Professionally Designed Signs?

There's an old legend in advertising that goes like this: David Ogilvy was walking past a homeless man one day whose sign read: "I'm blind, please help." His cup was empty. Instead of giving him money, Ogilvy rewrote the sign to read: "I am blind, and it's spring." The cup soon overflowed with cash. Tada—a lesson in the power of storytelling.