Service For The Underserved Design & Branding SUS CARDBOARD APARTMENT by J. Walter Thompson New York

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Industry Charities, Foundations, Volunteers
Media Design & Branding
Market United States
Agency J. Walter Thompson New York
Executive Creative Director Aaron Padin
Creative Director David Wasserman
Producer Tadd Ryan
Released November 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Exhibitions & Live Events
Date of First Appearance: Nov 11 2010
Entrant Company: JWT NEW YORK, USA
Chief Creative Officer: Peter Nicholson (JWT New York)
Executive Creative Director: Aaron Padin (JWT New York)
Head of Art: Aaron Padin (JWT New York)
Creative Director/Art Director: David Suarez (JWT New York)
Creative Director/Copywriter: Daniel Gonzalez (JWT New York)
Creative Director: David Wasserman (JWT New York)
Planner: Drew Train (JWT New York)
Integrated Producer: Sara Clark (JWT New York)
Producer: Tadd Ryan (JWT New York)
Account Director: Drew Train (JWT New York)
Account Executives: Amanda Lee/Liz Byrne (JWT New York)
Artist: Mark Borow (McConnell & Borow, Inc./PropArt)
Production Company: (McConnell & Borow, Inc./PropArt)
Stop Motion Animation: Chadwick Whitehead (JWT New York)
Motion Graphics: Joe Bennett/Filipe Topa (JWT New York)
Music: John Keeney (Abstract Sound)
Media placement: Teaser Video #1 -, SUS Youtube channel - 10 November 2010
Media placement: Installation - Veteran's Day Parade, New York City - 11 November 2010
Media placement: Teaser Video #2 - Http://, SUS Youtube Channel - 11 November 2010
Media placement: Installation - Times Square, New York City - 12 November 2010
Media placement: Teaser Video #3 - Http://, SUS Youtube Channel - 14 November 2010
Media placement: Installation - Bowling Green Park, New York City - 21 November 2010
Media placement: Teaser Video #4 - Http://, SUS Youtube Channel - 14 November 2010
Media placement: Installation - City Hall Park, New York City - 22 November 2010

Describe the brief from the client
Services for the UnderServed (SUS) has been helping individuals and families faced with a wide range of challenges—mental illness, developmental disability, physical disability, AIDS, homelessness, poverty—since 1978. Despite this organization’s great work, overall awareness of SUS is low. Because many individuals come to SUS with severe challenges, they require a high level of personalized service which is incredibly hard to find, and expensive. Public support is SUS’ lifeblood, and it needed an infusion during the busy holiday season. SUS needed to connect with busy New Yorkers, tell its story and drive donations.

Describe the challenges and key objectives
SUS is a local charity with little brand recognition and a very limited marketing budget (under $20,000). With thousands of charities competing for the public’s generosity, SUS needed something that would simultaneously introduce itself to the public, explain what it does and inspire people to give. Having tried other grassroots efforts in the past with moderate success, it needed something bigger and more impactful to make SUS the charity of choice for generous New Yorkers.

Describe how you arrived at the final design
SUS’ core mission is to transform the lives of the people it serves. To play on this, we transformed the most stereotypical symbol of American homelessness, the cardboard box, into something beautiful—something that would cause passers-by to stop, take a picture and share it. With the help of a local artist and current SUS residents, we used the cardboard to create a life-sized replica of the housing SUS provides to its members, down to the last detail. And, thanks to “text-to-donate” tags, we were able to monetize the moment visitors pulled out their smartphones to snap the picture.

Give some indication of how successful the outcome was in the market
During November, the installation travelled across New York, hitting popular locations like Times Square, the Veterans Day Parade, Bowling Green Park and City Hall Park. Hundreds of thousands saw the exhibit, including local politicians and other influencers. The local press (including The Gothamist, which reaches 250,000 readers), marketing trades and bloggers covered the project, resulting in hundreds of thousands of media impressions. The impact was immediate. During the one-month push, traffic to SUS websites increased 1600% and donations rose 437%, allowing SUS —for the first time ever—to provide a holiday gift to every one of the 3,500+ people it serves.