Service For The Underserved DM CARDBOARD APARTMENT by J. Walter Thompson New York

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Industry Charities, Foundations, Volunteers
Media Direct marketing
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: Ambient Media (Large Scale)
Product/Service: CHARITY
Date of First Appearance: Nov 11 2010
Entrant Company: JWT NEW YORK, USA
Chief Creative Officer: Peter Nicholson (JWT)
Executive Creative Director: Aaron Padin (JWT)
Head of Art: Aaron Padin (JWT)
Creative Director / Art Director: David Suarez (JWT)
Creative Director / Copywriter: Danny Gonzalez (JWT)
Creative Director: David Wasserman (JWT)
Planner: Drew Train (JWT)
Integrated Producer: Sara Clark (JWT)
Producer: Tadd Ryan (JWT)
Account Director: Drew Train (JWT)
Account Executives: Amanda Lee/Liz Byrne (JWT)
Artist: Mark Borow (McConnell & Borow / PropArt)
Production Company: (McConnell & Borow / PropArt)
Stop Motion Animation: Chadwick Whitehead (JWT)
Motion Graphics: Joe Bennett/Filipe Topa (JWT)
Music: John Keeney (Abstract Sound)
Media placement: Teaser Video #1 - Http://, 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/objective of the direct campaign.
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 creative solution to the brief/objective with reference to the projected response rates and desired outcome.
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 passersby 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 camera phones. Our goal was to raise awareness for this little-known charity and raise money to provide holiday gifts for its 3,500 members.

Explain why the creative execution was relevant to the product or service.
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. The Cardboard Apartment was effective because it drew crowds of people and allowed SUS to tell its story and collect donations from a captive audience.

Describe the results in as much detail as possible with particular reference to the RESPONSE of the target audience including deliverability statistics, response rates, click throughs, sales cost per response, relationships built and overall return on investment.
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.