Cannes Lions

HOMELESS CHARITY

PUBLICIS LONDON, London / DEPAUL / 2015

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Description

Activating volunteering through a text message promotion.

This campaign has a clear, promotional call to action. It asks people to send a text message to register their interest in helping a young, homeless person, by offering them a spare room for a night or two. The work is also brought to life on street corners – the very places where homeless young people find themselves without accommodation, creating a strong link between the issue the ad is addressing and the people who can solve it.

Execution

There’s another side to the story.

The idea uses two sides of a street corner. The first side addresses the negative preconceptions people have about giving up their spare room to a homeless youth. But when both sides are read together these preconceptions transform, showing the positive reality of becoming a Nightstop volunteer. The ads aim to acknowledge the concerns of our audience, before helping them see the issue from a new perspective.

The street corner was chosen because it’s a place where homeless youths might end up without the intervention of volunteers. We identified areas with high rates of homelessness where demand for Nightstop was high. As Nightstop can’t afford paid sites, our strategy was to approach partners and ask them to donate a spare corner. The campaign ran across six sites for six weeks, as per our original strategy, with the aim to reach more people online.

Outcome

Helping young people turn a corner for real.

The campaign achieved significant global coverage. It appeared live on BBC TV News, national radio and on over 70 blogs. In addition, it was trending at number two on the Reddit homepage with over 3 million views. We generated 69 million media impressions in the campaign period and around 6 million people directly viewed the work. On a £0 media spend, total earned media value was estimated at £1,589,857.

Depaul’s web traffic increased 600% on the previous week. Most importantly the total number of new volunteer enquiries increased by 6100% on the previous month. If all enquirers become volunteers, it would be equivalent to increasing Nightstop’s London capacity by 50%. Given that volunteers generally offer spare rooms for several years, this step change will help many young people turn a corner for real.

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