Raising the Roof wants to make you look good

The charity organization uses humour for the first time in a series of spots for its "Toque Campaign."

Raising The Roof is making heroes out of ordinary people in three new TV spots created by Leo Burnett with media by McIlroy & King Communications for the organization’s annual “Toque Campaign.”

The campaign asks that people help the non-profit to “put a cap on youth homelessness” by purchasing its signature toque. Last year, 42,000 toques were sold with 80% of the net proceeds donated to grassroots homelessness agencies across Canada, with the remaining 20% supporting Raising the Roof’s national Youthworks initiative.

For the past decade, the campaign has leveraged popular celebrities to create awareness for the charity and cause that has been somewhat under the radar in Canada, says Carolann Barr, executive director, Raising the Roof.

Now that the cause is more recognized, the organization decided to use ordinary people such as a dentist and office worker, to carry the message in its TV spots, she says.

“We’re also making a statement about the ordinary person who buys a toque – that he or she is a good person, a hero of sorts, whose minor transgressions might be overlooked,” says Barr of the comical spots that illustrates to Canadians that a person can do good as well as look good by purchasing a toque.

The media plan includes English and French channels across the country, such as Global, CBC, Citytv, OMNI, TeleQuebec and Sportsnet, as well as Astral French affiliated stations and Shaw specialty channels, she says.

Barr adds that this is the first time that the organization has used humour in its promotional material to create awareness, saying that “Raising the Roof‘s approach has always been to engage Canadians in an upbeat, positive way rather than to make them feel burdened and guilty.”

“It’s not usual for charities to use humour in their messaging,” she adds. “We feel that by doing so, our fresh, slightly irreverent and definitely entertaining approach will help to get the spots noticed and perhaps get some water cooler conversations started.”