United Way illustrates the circle of poverty

There's a lot of money in Calgary, and the United Way of Calgary and Area is hoping that its powerful fall fundraising campaign will prompt citizens to send some of that largesse their way.

There’s a lot of money in Calgary, and the United Way of Calgary and Area is hoping that its powerful fall fundraising campaign will prompt citizens to send some of that largesse their way.

The campaign includes posters, TV and radio spots that all play on a ‘circular’ concept, illustrating the long-term effect of being trapped by poverty, and encouraging donors to help break the cycle. For example, one of the illustrated posters features a dark, black and white drawing of a little girl curled up in front of a silhouette, with the headline: ‘Neglected by her parents, she hangs with a bad crowd, gets pregnant and becomes a neglectful parent.’

‘There are a lot of sensitivities from United Way not to stereotype,’ says Patrick Doyle, CD at Calgary-based Trigger Communications, explaining why they opted to use illustrations instead of photographs. His team also seized the opportunity to depict things that would have been harder to do with photography, like a schoolboy with a hole in his stomach to illustrate hunger.

‘It’s targeted at corporate Calgary because that’s where the money is,’ says Doyle, adding that the posters will be put up on office bulletin boards throughout the city this fall, adding pragmatically: ‘It’s a fundraising campaign, not a branding campaign.’

client: Janay Ferguson, senior director of communications, United Way of Calgary and Area

agency: Trigger Communications

CD: Patrick Doyle

copywriter: David Delibato

AD/illustrator: Joel Arbez

account supervisor: Sharole Lawrence

account manager: David Giovando

You are cordially invited to submit your new, dead clever and previously unrevealed campaigns to: editorial director Mary Maddever at mmaddever@brunico.com and CD Stephen Stanley at sstanley@brunico.com, co-curators of strategy’s Creative space.