Solidarité Grands Froids Film, Digital, Case study The Homeless Webshop by TBWA\ Brussels

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The Homeless Webshop

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Industry Charities, Foundations, Volunteers
Media Film, Digital, Interactive & Mobile, Case study
Market Belgium
Agency TBWA\ Brussels
Creative Director Gert Pauwels
Art Director Johan Van Oeckel, Greg Van Buggenhout
Copywriter Olaf Meuleman
Released June 2018

Awards

Lions Craft 2018
Digital Craft Lions Innovative Use of Technology Silver Lion

Credits & Description

Agency: TBWA/Brussels
Brand: Solidarité Grands Froids
Client: Cynthia Simpson
Creative Director: Gert Pauwels
Art Director: Greg Van Buggenhout, Johan Van Oeckel
Copywriter: Olaf Meuleman
Account: Valérie Demeure
Design: Olivia Maisin
Digital project managers: Stijn Mertens, Diederik Van Remoortere, Wannes Vermeulen
Digital Design: Yannick Van der Goten
Published: May 2018
Synopsis:
TBWA Brussels and Solidarite Grands Froids have created "The Homeless Webshop," a webshop without an address which is looking for shelter on other websites. It's a regular webshop where people could buy virtual items to support the homeless.
We built the Homeless Webshop.
The first website without an address, looking for shelter on other sites.
It's a regular webshop where you can buy virtual products, like warm clothes, sleeping bags or a room for the night, to support the homeless. But the Homeless Webshop has no address, so it has to be sheltered on other sites. All people had to do to give shelter to our webshop, was add a single line of code to their own website. An innovative way to support a charity.
It was launched with a simple Facebook post, and the reactions were overwhelming. The webshop instantly found a home on dozens of websites and blogs, generating thousands of visitors - and sales. Belgium’s biggest news sites, the most popular magazines, and big national brands all featured our homeless webshop, generating over 1 million visitors for our webshop.
Execution
The homeless organisations in Brussels have had a difficult time since the Samusocial-scandal. People were not willing to donate money anymore… On top of that the story of the homeless people in Brussels is in the news every winter, so the public hardly notices it anymore. Our strategy was to create a positive movement around the problem of homelessness again. So we had to generate donations, break through the PR clutter and create a positive movement again.

We created the Homeless Webshop, that just like the homeless it supported, had no address. And it was looking for shelter on other websites.

We launched The Homeless Webshop the 21st of December on Facebook, with a line of code. We asked people and organisations behind big and small websites, to give (temporary) shelter to our webshop. The Webshop immediately found shelter on dozens of blogs and websites. On Twitter we reached out to the media, asking them to give shelter too. And they did.

To name just a few:

- News sites like hln.be, lalibre.be, mm.be, sudpresse.be, ladh.be, sanoma.be

- The most popular magazines like dagallemaal.be, flaire.be, marieclaire.be, parismatch.be

- Brands like touring.be, kyalin.be, flanders.bio and several national brands

The campaign was also featured on many other media like MSN, Belga, Bruzz, Paris Match, Het Nieuwsblad, Marie Claire, Metro, Nina, BX1, Digimedia, etc...

During the Holiday period the webshop received more than 225.000 unique visitors and it was called one of the 7 the ‘most important webshops in Belgium’.

Apart from developing of the website, there was no other budget involved in the campaign. Zero media budget, not a single Facebook post or tweet was sponsored. All media attention and web-traffic was a direct result of the idea of the Homeless Webshop.

Campaign Description
We created the Homeless Webshop, that just like the homeless it supported, had no address. And it was looking for shelter on other websites. We asked people and organisations behind big and small websites, to give (temporary) shelter to our webshop. All they had to do was add a single line of code to their site. In the webshop you could buy virtual products, like sleeping bags or a room for the night, to support the homeless. An innovative way to support a charity, not donating money, but website traffic. By counting on the public, media and even businesses for visibility, we created a positive movement around the problem of homelessness again, which increased donations.