Katrina Foundation Unveils Campaign

NEW YORK Hurricane Katrina tore through parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama almost two years ago. As the August anniversary approaches and hurricane season begins this week, La Comunidad wanted to remind people that help was still needed.

The agency approached the Katrina Foundation for Recovery with the idea of running a campaign. The foundation agreed and the results are three press ads and two posters that drive home that message.

In one of the press ads, “Church,” a hand holds up a photograph of a white church surrounded by trees in bloom and a neatly manicured lawn. The picture is juxtaposed against an area where the church may have once been but is now the site of the remains of a building, mangled trees and debris.

The posters take a slightly different approach. One shows pieces of paper and photographs taped to what looks like a side of a house. The top line reads, “Bin Laden would be smart to hide where the U.S. pays the least attention: New Orleans.”

“The whole point there is that the whole country is focused on something so far from here and there are problems in our backyard that no one is paying attention to,” said Jose Molla, co-founder of La Comunidad in Miami. “The idea is to show what the situation is like now. It’s amazing how badly it sill looks in the non-tourist areas.”

The Katrina Foundation for Recovery, which is not government funded, is looking to newspapers in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi to run the public service announcement ads.

“We find that people from those three states are giving the most,” said Rick Hohlt, vp of the Katrina Foundation, based in Ruston, La. He hopes that national newspapers will also run the ads, which the foundation has the rights to for the next six months.

“Awareness has dropped off and people need to understand that a significant amount of help needs to come to the Gulf Coast and it’s going to be decades before things are back to normal,” said Hohlt.