What if we cared about those living in poverty as much as we care about celebrities?
That’s the question posed in an unusual new ad campaign, which features the daily realities of struggling single mothers on posters that resemble the covers of glossy tabloid-style magazines.
“No money to pay the rent” and “Unemployed mom tells all,” scream the “headlines.”
Created by ad agency DDB Canada for Toronto charity WoodGreen Community Services, the campaign promotes a program called Homeward Bound, which provides homeless or struggling single moms with the means to become self-sufficient.
“Learning about celebrities is fun, but we want people to recognize that there are many others who are in greater need of our attention and support,” said Denise Rossetto, DDB’s executive creative director.
The pro-bono campaign includes television, print, social and online advertising, and will run until the end of the month. Much of ad space was donated by media organizations throughout the Greater Toronto Area.
The campaign includes a petition to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne asking for more provincial funding to expand the Homeward Bound program, which provides specific support for struggling single mothers such as affordable housing, mental health services, free child care, training, and post-secondary education.
By doing so, the government would be making a “sound financial investment,” said WoodGreen’s CEO Brian Smith, since graduates of the program return an estimated $4 back to society for every dollar invested.
“On average, $295K of cumulative benefit is generated for every woman who completes the program,” he said.
“The significant return occurs as women complete the program, move off social assistance, and become economically self-sufficient.”
According to WoodGreen’s website, Homeward Bound is a four-year program that has so far helped 176 women with a total of 216 children graduate and earn competitive wages in positions such as law clerk, data management officer, and technical service analyst.