This is the story of the creation of an advertising campaign that cost (almost) nothing. VIA, a mid-sized, independent advertising agency in Portland, ME took on the pro bono challenge of raising awareness of the services of The Salvation Army in the Greater Portland area (raising a little money wouldn't hurt either). Adding to this challenge was the fact that 83 cents of every dollar donated to The Salvation Army goes directly to the people that it serves leaving very little money left over for expensive advertising campaigns. So VIA created a grassroots, guerrilla campaign that is being supported by 50+ Greater Portland businesses and includes over 5,000 creative placements in spots where you would never expect to see an ad (on store windows & coffee sleeves, inside pizza boxes & on rocks, on dirty car windows & shopping bags, the list goes on and on - we even got our message on modern furniture in the trendiest of places). This gargantuan guerrilla effort was supported by traditional print, online and TV advertising all created in-house and run on media donated by local network and cable TV stations, newspapers and websites. We will be EVERYWHERE.
It has been a ton of work but also a ton of fun. It has been great for us to really feel a part of a community effort at a time when our community needs us the most. The positive energy that has been generated has been pretty inspiring.
Oh yeah, did we mention that the concept for this campaign came from one of our youngest creative teams? And, that The Salvation Army stepped way outside of their box with this one? Well, it was and they did. Check us out in action here and check out our campaign site at www.salvationarmydonate.org
VIA Thinks Local In Salvation Army Campaign | AdFreak.com
A great campaign review by one of our favorite ad bloggers
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. (cont.)
Salvation Army Gets Backup From Local Businesses | The Forecaster
Painted rocks on tables in local restaurants are part of the “This Ad Costs Nothing” campaign launched this week for the Salvation Army.
PORTLAND — The Salvation Army usually conjures images of holiday-time bell ringers or volunteers distributing blankets to victims of fires or other disasters.
This week, a local advertising agency has teamed up with at least 50 local businesses to come to the Salvation Army’s aid.
The advertising campaign is part guerrilla, part traditional, and is being done at no cost to the relief agency by The VIA Group. It is intended to raise money and awareness for the Salvation Army.
“The Salvation Army has an ‘older’ stigma and they haven’t been able to market themselves well,” said Greg Smith, chief creative officer at VIA. Smith said the advertising firm was surprised at how little the Salvation Army spends on marketing – 83 cents of every $1 donated to them goes directly to programs.
When VIA public relations director Rob Gould approached Smith and some others about the Salvation Army, and pointed out the grassroots nature of the organization, VIA decided to take on the marketing project. Art department guys Mike Irvine and Chris Avantaggio brainstormed and came up with the idea of getting the Salvation Army message out by spending elbow grease instead of money.
“Just like the Salvation Army, we decided to spend nothing and give more,” Smith said.
The result is the “This Ad Cost Nothing” campaign, launched in time for the organization’s annual Salvation Army Week. (cont.)