Via thinks local in Salvation Army campaign

A healthy disregard for big-budget ad campaigns is a prerequisite for non-profits that squeak by, self-promotionally, with a little help from their friends. That attitude is made explicit, in message and execution, in a new campaign by Via in Portland, Maine, for The Salvation Army of Northern New England. More than 40 local businesses donated ad space for the current two-week effort, which revels in a hodgepodge of unlikely grassroots guerrilla executions: ads scribbled on store windows and bathroom mirrors, printed on shopping bags, pizza boxes and coffee sleeves, even scrawled on dirty car windows. The headlines themselves (e.g., "The less we spend on advertising, the more people we can reach") literally celebrate the campaign's low-budget nature—the kind of thrifty approach that allows The Salvation Army to put 83 cents of every dollar it gets directly into its programs. Traditional print and TV support the guerrilla work. While The Salvation Army has done powerful advertising work before, it's nice not to see anyone ringing a bell for a change.

—Posted by Tim Nudd