Agencies in Action has started a poster campaign in New York parodying outdoor ads for HSBC, Brand Jordan and Apple, in support for the New York City Coalition Against Hunger. This campaign, masterminded by Bill Oberlander, creative director at Cossette, formerly at Ogilvy & Mather and McCann, is designed to get Manhattan advertising agency staff to volunteer to staff soup kitchens and food pantries once a month.
iPod’s familiar silhouettes of dancing music lovers becomes outlines of homeless panhandlers with the headline iHungry. Nike’s Michael Jordan figure is flying through air, not with a basketball in his hand but a knife, a fork and a plate, along with the headline, “Just feed them.” Each layout is accompanied by the call to action, “Let’s put ad agencies to work for the hungry,” along with the web site address www.hungervolunteer.org and the phone number for the New York City Coalition Against Hunger.
This debut initiative, undertaken on behalf of the NYCCAH, is the first phase in what is intended to be a series of AIA-led volunteerism efforts, according to AIA Director Bill Oberlander.
“Over one million New Yorkers are dealing with hunger every year, with not having enough food to eat in their homes,” Oberlander explains. “We’re asking agencies that commit to AIA to organize a team of six staffers who will work three hours a month in their local soup kitchens. They’ll assist in prepping meals, serving meals and cleaning up. If we can get twenty agencies to commit to doing this, we can cover at least one soup kitchen in the city every weekday of the month.”
Currently, six New York agencies have accepted the AIA challenge: Arnold Worldwide, Cossette, DiMassimo Goldstein, Gotham, Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners and TBWA\Chiat\Day.
Joel Berg, executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, and author of All You Can Eat: How Hungry Is America?, welcomes the support of AIA and its member agencies.
“We’re looking for people to donate their skills and their time, not just money or food,” Berg says. “We want them to think more strategically about their volunteering—it’s not about just doing public service ads. Our eventual goal is for the ad community to use their marketing savvy and their communications savvy to build increased public support for a broader governmental effort to end hunger.”