Every night in Milwaukee, some 400 teens are homeless and looking for a place to sleep. Unfortunately there are only a scant 16 emergency shelter beds in the city that are available for teens. To help shine a light on this issue, Serve launched a provocative guerilla advertising campaign around the city of Milwaukee in November. The campaign created a stir in the city when images of sleeping homeless teens began popping up on billboards, bus shelters and taxi cab toppers. It got even more coverage when stickers of homeless teens began appearing on the streets in front of busy stores, movie theaters, coffee shops, restaurants, government buildings and even the Bradley Center. The stickers were so lifelike and attention-getting, even the police were compelled to stop and investigate.
Needless to say, the campaign was a huge success, generating millions of media impressions for Pathfinders, which operates one of the two teen homeless shelters in Milwaukee. Because of the increased awareness, the organization has already seen a 37% increase in new donors and hopes to inspire greater funding and support in 2009.
Advertising Agency: Serve Marketing, Milwaukee, WI, USA
Creative Director: Gary Mueller
Art Director: Laure Arthur
Copywriters: Gary Mueller, Morgan Kuchnia-Hanson
Photographer: Jeff Salzer
AE: Heather Aldrich and Sarah Salzer
Published: November 2008