Brands and charities such as Coca-Cola, St Mungo’s and Social Bite are capitalising on the spirit of goodwill this Christmas by channelling their marketing toward good causes, with homelessness proving to be a common campaign issue.
Among those aiming to make a difference are St Mungo’s which has launched a Christmas Emergency Appeal with Paragon Park House to end the scourge of rough sleeping by leveraging public sympathy for dogs - illustrating that life is just as tough for their owners.
The donations push dovetails with a focus on the causes of homelessness to help humanise the plight of people forced to spend winter on the streets.
Paragon ‘s Andy Todd and John Vinton commented: “Homelessness is something that could happen to any of us and more easily than you think. There were so many stories for us to tell. Far too many, sadly”.
Another approach comes courtesy of digital agency ADEO which has launched an Instagram filter encouraging people to donate hats, gloves and scarves to the homeless.
Susie Fraser, Managing Director of Adeo, said: “It’s easy to get caught up with the busy festive season, but we mustn’t forget that there are hundreds in Glasgow without homes who may have to face exposure in the unforgiving Scottish winter. We ask all our clients, friends and anyone who can to please donate.”
The aim is to spread use of the filter using the hashtag #HeadsUp.
Anne-Marie Livingston, Corporate Services Manager at Simon Community Scotland added: “Something as simple as a thermal scarf and hat can make all the difference for people experiencing homelessness during the winter.”
Managing director of Adeo, Susie Fraser added: “It’s easy to get caught up with the busy festive season, but we mustn’t forget that there are hundreds in Glasgow without homes who may have to face exposure in the unforgiving Scottish winter. We ask all our clients, friends and anyone who can to please donate.”
Meanwhile, this year Coca-Cola as part of its largest Christmas campaign drive for Britain has partnered with homeless charity Crisis by donating 10p from each can sampled and recycled during its ‘Holidays are Coming’ truck tour.
These individual approaches to the issue dovetail with Social Bite’s Big Sleep Out event which is expected to draw over 50,000 participants worldwide this weekend and built on a billboard campaign undertaken by End Youth Homelessness earlier in the year.
Richard Michie, CEO of The Marketing Optimist has taken a similar approach by raising awareness among the business community of these issues by encouraging charitable donations instead of Christmas card giving. He said: “Don’t get me wrong, I’m no scrooge, and I, of course, send cards out to family and friends, but as a business owner, I feel it’s my responsibility to ensure all of my outreach is considerate of the environment and my local community in some way.”
Check out The Drum's Social Purpose awards winners from earlier this year to see more campaigns from around the world trying to make a positive impact.