[Hpn] Miami, FL - Miami Agency Speaks Up for the Homeless Voice - AdWeek.com - July 16, 2002

H. C. Covington H. C. Covington" <icanamerica@bellsouth.net
Tue, 16 Jul 2002 22:01:04 -0500


Miami Agency Speaks Up for the Homeless Voice
"We didn't want homeless people to come across as victims"
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by Vincent Coppola - Advertising - AdWeek.com - July 16, 2002

ATLANTA--Crispin Porter + Bo-gusky's advertising campaign for the Homeless Voice
newspaper substitutes irony and edginess for familiar stereotypes.

Ads in the Miami shop's upcoming print and outdoor subscription effort range
from quirky ("Find out what all the cool homeless people are doing this
weekend") and humorous ("Don't go looking for the real estate section") to
in-your-face ("It comes right to your home. Lucky bastard").

"We didn't want homeless people to come across as victims," said CP+B associate
creative director Ari Merkin. "We wanted to convey real personalities and
sensibilities."

To that end, the agency casts the print ads with individuals from Hollywood,
Fla.'s Helping People in America homeless shelter.

Merkin wrote the copy which, under Silvana Widuczynski's art direction, appears
in the actual handwriting of shelter residents.

Text is written on simulated cardboard, similar to the handmade appeals of
street people.

One outdoor message ("Thought for food") plays off the familiar "Will work for
food" plea of the indigent.

The ads will appear in area newspapers and periodicals including the Boca Raton
Times, Coral Gables Gazette, South Florida Business Journal and Boca magazine,
in the hope that the pro-bono work will be picked up by mainstream media like
the The Miami Herald.

The campaign supports an effort to build a standard subscription base for the
newspaper, which has been hawked by homeless people on metro Miami street
corners.

Revenue generated through the $50 annual subscription fees will support the
shelter, which publishes the bi-monthly Homeless Voice.

Campaign strategy is to forge a connection between those without homes and the
rest of us.

"There's a perception that most homeless people are mentally ill," said Merkin.

"When we visited the shelter, we found functional members of society who had a
bad turn of luck."

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