The Salvation Army New Zealand, Fiji & Tonga Territory

Red Shield Appeal 2015 “Safety Net”

Super high speed cameras. Giant red safety net. Spellbinding.

The Salvation Army has been an integral part of New Zealand’s social fabric for 131 years. 2014 brought home the depth and breadth of material deprivation and emotional strain endured by a large number of Kiwi families.

The challenge for the 2015 appeal was to build on a successful 2014 campaign, by presenting the public with an arresting image of poverty – and the Salvation Army’s role in addressing it – unlike anything New Zealanders have ever seen.

The Result:

Simple, symbolic, easily understood and campaignable through TV, print, direct mail and posters.

The Red Shield Appeal has largely been a cash-donation street appeal for many years. A year earlier Black introduced txt-for-callback giving to counteract the public’s declining use of cash. The Safety Net campaign built on this innovation, positioning it as the easy, instant and user-friendly response to a street appeal.

The campaign was honoured with a Gold in the 2016 prestigious international Davey Awards in the Not-for-Profit category.

The Davey Awards is an international creative award focused exclusively on honouring outstanding creative work from the best small agencies worldwide. The 2016 Davey Awards received nearly 4,000 entries from ad agencies, interactive agencies, production firms, in-house creative professionals, graphic designers, design firms and public relations firms.

The Story:

The smallest things can push the working poor over the edge. The car breaks down. The rent goes up. Loans get out of hand.

We used super high speed cameras to show ordinary people falling into a dark abyss. Because that’s what it’s like.

The tragic poetry of their fall became spellbinding as Hayley Westenra sang Quanta Qualia.

A giant red safety net rises from the darkness to catch them. The Salvation Army Red Shield.

“There is a perception that the Salvation Army is all about food parcels,” says Public Relations Director Shane Chisholm. “But we wanted to engage with the audience and show that I could very easily find myself in that space. It could be me.”

By dressing our falling people as well-dressed middle class, we addressed a deep but false impression about the Salvation Army, while making the Appeal more relevant to the target audience of donors.

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