By Malay Desai
From: HAVAS Worldwide, Dusseldorf
To tell German cinema-goers how the homeless of their cities feel in the winter, the charity FiftyFifty undertook this campaign at a movie theatre. As the heating was off and the air-conditioning temperature dipped, patrons began feeling the bite of the cold. Soon, a film of candid conversations of the homeless was played on screen, them reacting to this experiment, many saying how ‘cosy’ it must be inside the theatre, if it’s just 8 degree C. The patrons then spotted the QR code on the supplied blankets and immediately made donations toward the charity, also providing the campaign media coverage.
Why we like
To cut through the sizzling vibe we set last week with the best of mango drink ads, here’s a small campaign which sent the chills through our minds. It’s an experiment at a cinema theatre in urban Germany, but watch closely and you’d agree our lessons in the last para here make sense.
There are over two-and-a-half lakh homeless persons in Germany, approximately a quarter of them women; and much like their fates in any other country, they’re often invisible, with the well-to-do city slickers not sensitized to their issues. The unforgiving German winters, much like Mumbai’s monsoons, pose the gravest risk to their lives and this outfit here has done well to drive home these facts without appearing preachy.
The campaign involves more logistics than just turning down the aircon temperature – it’s also about capturing what the homeless have to say about this experiment, and playing it at the right time inside the theatre. Blankets must bear QR codes, which must lead to a site that works.To convert an ignorant, cocooned citizen into a donor toward an issue he didn’t care about before entering the theatre requires effort, and the agency seems to have worked well after the big idea struck. Worthy to note, they were also executioners of another tech-savvy campaign for the cause, the ‘invisible homeless man.’ Look it up.
To grab unsuspecting people and make them go through a sensory experience is the essence of any ambient campaign, but to deliver a call-to-action is the key, without which it might remain just another cool internet video. The QR codes here play the role of donation boxes, but are only slicker and create more intent in the user. It is only with more such usage of the omnipresent checkered box will the technology become more commonplace, especially in our part of the world.
The homeless here were amused, the patrons touched..and the campaign made news. It may not even be remembered after a few weeks but by selecting an audience, creating an impact and using technology to good effect, it’s just delivered a case study in modern advertising.