Ogilvy Promo, Case study PERCY BARTLEY HOUSE PROJECT by Ogilvy Cape Town

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Industry Business equipment & services, Corporate Image
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market South Africa
Agency Ogilvy Cape Town
Executive Creative Director Chris Gotz
Copywriter Kate Desmarais
Released December 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Corporate Responsibility
Executive Creative Director: Chris Gotz (Ogilvy Cape Town)
Copywriter: Kate Desmarais (Ogilvy Cape Town)
PR Account Manager: Amy Mabin (Ogilvy Cape Town)
Creative Consultant: Ricky Lee Gordon (Write on Africa)
Photographer/Videographer: Rowan Pybus (Makhulu Productions)
Managing Director: Gavin Levinsohn (Ogilvy Cape Town)
Media placement: Press Release - Across All Media - From September 2010
Media placement: Social Media - YouTube, Flickr, Twitter. - September 2010

Summary of the Campaign
When our agency moved into the suburb of Woodstock it was a rundown, inner-city neighbourhood. We knew we had a responsibility to help uplift the area, so we chose a community project very close to home.

Percy Bartley House is a home for troubled teenage boys situated just a few blocks from our front door. 59 years of wear and tear had left it dull and lifeless.

We wanted to help Percy Bartley House using what is at the core of our business: creativity.

At the same time, we noticed something else in our neighbourhood. Graffiti. Lot's of it. Not ugly spray painted tags. But beautiful murals, uplifting and inspiring. We found the street artists who were responsible and asked them to help us.

Together with the artists, we transformed Percy Bartley House from an anonymous Non Government Organization (NGO) into an explosion of colour that garnered PR as a leading example of how creativity can inspire change.

The Situation
When our agency moved into Woodstock it was a rundown inner-city neighbourhood. We wanted to help uplift the area, so we chose a community project close to home.

Percy Bartley House is a home for troubled teenage boys, just a few blocks from our front door. Opened in 1951, the home gives the boys a second chance at life. But 59 years of wear and tear had left it dull and lifeless.

The emergence of a local group of street artists using their art to uplift and inspire provided an opportunity for us to collaborate with fellow creatives for the good of the greater community.

The Goal
As an ad agency, we wanted to profile how creativity can do more than just change clients’ business; it can change people’s lives.

We also wanted to shine a light on the amazing work that was being done inside Percy Bartley House by bringing that magic to the surface in a way that would grab the attention of the media.

We identified online commentators, bloggers, marketing industry influencers and more traditionally, newspaper and magazine editors and radio presenters as our key audience. We also wanted our message to be communicated to the local art and advertising communities as an example of how to use creativity to inspire change.

The Strategy
Coverage was achieved by:
• Drafting comprehensive media lists targeting online, blogging, lifestyle, art, design, marketing and community media
• Follow ups and negotiation
• Setting up radio interviews
• Media invitations to visit the home

Our strategy was to keep the focus of the project on how our agency was able to use creativity to inspire change, as well as highlight the positive impact that Percy Bartley House has on the boys who live there and the community at large.
To maximise exposure we documented the process and shared it online.

In March 2010, we approached Ricky Lee Gordon, founder of 'Write on Africa' with the idea to rejuvenate Percy Bartley House using street art.

Gordon got Cape Town’s best street artists and illustrators on board to create murals around the home.

Money was raised throughout the project via internal communications at Ogilvy CT and a fundraiser. Sponsors were brought on board to help with paint and utensil contributions.

On 11 September 2010, volunteers from our agency and the boys of Percy Bartley House repainted the exterior of the home to create a blank canvas.
Three days later, the artists began painting their murals.

A press release was drafted and sent out and media were invited to the home to watch the artists in action and do interviews.
The PR drive continued to bring in excellent coverage online, in print and on radio.
The project was completed on 10 November 2010.

Documented Results
All coverage profiled our agency as a leading example of how creativity has the power to change lives and acknowledged the agency for breaking away from the corporate mould.

The rejuvenation received coverage in high-end art and design magazines like Art South Africa and House and Leisure. And as proof of the power of creativity to inspire change, the project was entered into Cape Town’s bid to become the Design Capital of the World for 2014.

Value of coverage achieved was R 527 598.00 (AVE 1:1)

Increased awareness of Percy Bartley House meant multiple donations for the home, a new garden donated by a local landscaper and weekly art classes for the boys.

Although we are proud of these results, it is the daily inspiration the boys take from the painted messages, the pride they have in their new home and the restored faith they have in the community around them that is true success of this project.