Service For The Underserved Promo, Case study SUS CARDBOARD APARTMENT by J. Walter Thompson New York

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Industry Charities, Foundations, Volunteers
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency J. Walter Thompson New York
Creative Director David Wasserman
Producer Tadd Ryan
Released November 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of 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 New York)
Executive Creative Director/Head Of Art: Aaron Padin (JWT New York)
Creative Director/Art Director: David Suarez (JWT New York)
Creative Director/Copywriter: Danny Gonzalez (JWT New York)
Creative Director: David Wasserman (JWT New York)
Planner/Account Director: Drew Train (JWT New York)
Integrated Producer: Sara Clark (JWT New York)
Producer: Tadd Ryan (JWT New York)
Account Executives: Amanda Lee/Liz Byrne (JWT New York)
Artist: Mark Borow (McConnell & Borow / PropArt)
Production Company: (McConnell & Borow / 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

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
Services for the UnderServed (SUS) has been helping individuals and families faced with a wide range of challenges - mental illness, developmental and physical disability, AIDS, homelessness, poverty - since 1978. Despite this organisation’s great work, overall awareness of SUS is low. Because many individuals come to SUS with severe challenges, they require a high level of personalised service - which is incredibly hard to find, and expensive. Public support is SUS’ lifeblood, and it needed an infusion during the busy holiday season.

With a very limited marketing budget (under $20,000) and thousands of charities competing for the public’s generosity, SUS needed something impactful that would introduce itself to the public, tell its story and inspire donations. 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.

Creative Execution
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. From drawers to kitchen appliances to clothing on hangers, each item was carefully handcrafted to bring this important cause to life in a beautiful way. The Cardboard Apartment drew crowds and inspired people to pull out their camera phones. And, thanks to “text-to-donate” tags, we were able to monetise the moment visitors pulled out their smartphones to snap the picture.

Results and Effectiveness
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 of people saw the exhibit, including local politicians and other influencers. The local press (including The Gothamist, which reaches 250,000 readers), marketing traders 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 1,600% 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.