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Donated guerrilla campaign promotes the Salvation Army

Nonprofit & Social Cause

Creative agencies seem to have embraced corporate generosity with open arms, if a few recent initiatives are anything to go by. Much the way Bushfire Housing and SmallCanBeBig were donated by the Sputnik Agency and the Boathouse Group, respectively, so a new, guerrilla ad campaign for the Salvation Army was donated by an agency with the help of more than 50 local businesses. Known as the “This Ad Cost Nothing” campaign, the three-week initiative was designed primarily to raise awareness for the Salvation Army’s Northern New England division. It was conceived and created in Portland, Maine, by local agency VIA Group, which turned to area businesses for help carrying it out. Part of the campaign included broadcast time and print ad space donated by traditional media; the majority, however, employed less conventional tactics. Pizza boxes and coffee sleeves were transformed into ad space for displaying the Salvation Army’s logo and URL, for example, as were bathroom mirrors at local restaurants—with the help of a little grease paint. VIA employees and willing friends parked their intentionally dusty cars in downtown Portland, with the logo and slogans written on their back windshields, while dozens of shops sported the logo on their own windows as well. Painted rocks, tarps and tennis court floors were also among the more than 5,000 “creative units” included in the campaign. Besides getting the word out about the Salvation Army and no doubt updating its image, the “This Ad Cost Nothing” campaign is also yet another nice example of the types of efforts increasingly being expected of companies by Generation G. As the saying goes, ’tis better to give than to receive—and that’s never been more true than it is today! 😉 Spotted by: Cecilia Biemann



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