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Shelter illuminates the unvarnished truth behind Britain’s housing crisis

Housing charity Shelter has launched ‘Fight for Home’, a new rallying cry devised by Who Wot Why that abandons generic charity advertising tropes to communicate the unvarnished truth behind a national housing shortage.

The hard-hitting message dovetails with the launch of the housing charity’s new brand identity developed by WPP global brand agency Superunion. Harnessing the visceral visual language of protest using a rough and ready arrow daubed in red brushstrokes, the refresh seeks to rekindle the spirit of activism that gave birth to Shelter back in the 1960s while symbolizing a typical pitched roof.

The month-long first phase of the campaign will span TV, OOH, press, digital and social, complemented by an integrated content partnership with Vice Media, to open people’s eyes to the crisis unfolding all around us.

Giving a voice to real people struggling to find a safe and secure roof over their heads, the campaign offers a platform for an estimated 17.5 million people across Britain (34% of the population) to have been affected by the housing emergency.

Putting a face to these statistics, evocative black and white portraits of individuals have been projected on to streets and buildings to ensure the message hits home for watching audiences.

Leading the ‘Fight for Home’ charge is Willow Williams, head of marketing at Shelter, who believes a more confrontational strategy is needed to combat apathy and enthuse the public into supporting their cause. She said: “The housing emergency has escalated to staggering levels, impacting the lives of one in three of us. Meanwhile, the global health crisis has made things a whole lot worse. This situation demanded an urgent and unflinching campaign to inspire everyone to join Shelter in the fight for home.”

Sean Thompson, executive creative director and founder of Who Wot Why, adds: “With one in three impacted by the housing emergency, this isn’t just about street homelessness; it’s about people and families up and down the country who don’t have somewhere safe to sleep, and who are moving from sofa to sofa, trapped in often dangerous temporary accommodation, often cutting back on food to pay their housing costs, or living in fear of being evicted.

“We uncovered the raw truths from conversations with the people who use Shelter’s services and translated this into provocative OOH and a powerful track to force the message home. The results are grounded in lived experience and empathy from the heart of this complex, yet often hidden issue.”

In this manner, Shelter seeks to build a grassroots movement of activists inspired to carry this message on to the streets.

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