The Salvation Army’s Clever Facebook 360 Photos Show Poverty Lurking Just Out of View

The view behind holiday pics

Grey's holiday appeal for the Salvation Army in Canada makes impressive use of Facebook 360 photos to give users a more rounded view of poverty. 

At first glance, posts resemble typical yuletide fare, with smiling parents and kids wishing their families and friends a Merry Christmas, complete with festive trees and colorful lights in the background. 

But when users interact with the ads, they see things from a different perspective. Check out one of the 360 photos here. Below is the case study showing how they worked: 

"When people think of life in Canada, we certainly don't imagine one in 10 people here can't make ends meet, but that's the reality," Grey Toronto president Darlene Remlinger tells AdFreak. "Poverty isn't always easy to see. It's much closer to us than we want to believe it is. And during the holidays, that's a reality even more difficult to accept. So through these different executions, we wanted to show people that appearances can be deceiving." 

With this particular campaign, she says, "using Facebook and some of their new technologies was important for driving more interaction and more engagement with a simple, easily executed format," especially one that was cost effective and would appeal to millennials, who are comfortable with donating to causes online. 

Even without the 360, this next clip encourages viewers to do a mental 180:

"We ended up shooting inside real rooming houses and real impoverished homes," Remlinger says. "None of the scenes in any of these photographs or films are artificial sets. These are all actual homes in which real Canadian families and individuals live. Places like these are so much more prevalent than we ever imagine they'd be, often in neighborhoods and places you'd never expect to find them." 

Like the videos, the campaign's print ads provide a more complete picture of some quietly desperate situations: 


Client: Salvation Army

Agency: Grey Canada (with media planning/placement by Mediacom)

Executive Creative Directors: Joel Arbez, James Ansley

Art Directors: Oliver Brooks, Ryan McNeill, Janet Wen

Writers: Mike Richardson, Shirley Yushkov

Account Director: Siobhan Doyle

Account Executive: Kit Kostandoff

Strategic Planner: Jean Claude Kikongi

Producers: Vanessa Birze, Deena Archibald, Sam Benson

Digital Producer: Dominic Barlow

Director of Technology and UX: Marc Cattapan

Production Company: Westside Studios

Director/Photographer: Frank Hoedl

Editorial: Christina Humphries, Rooster Post

Post Production: Fort York

Colour: The Vanity

Audio: Boombox, Cylinder Sound

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