Raising the Roof turns cardboard signs into ads

A 25-foot castle and other creative focuses on big dreams to make homelessness more relateable.

Raising the Roof’s newest campaign aims to bridge the gap between those who are and are not homeless with a campaign that reminds viewers that everyone has dreams and aspirations.

The focal point of this campaign is a 25-foot castle made from cardboard signs that might typically be held up by the homeless. According to a recent press release, the castle structure is designed to not only generate attention, “but also change the way homelessness awareness is approached.”

Creative agency The Local Collective was looking to create something that not only sticks in the minds of Canadians, but bridged the gap between the homeless and non-homeless with something that makes the issue more tangible, according to Matt Litzinger, the agency’s founder, president and CCO.

“[It’s] making something unfamiliar, feel familiar,” he says, adding that, sometimes, individuals are “desensitized” to those who are homeless and that “we have trouble relating to them.”

Some of the cardboard signs that make up the castle include phrases such as, “Cold. Need Money For Shelter,” and “Please Be Kind and Help.” In a video, the line “Because we believe any dream is possible. But no dream should be homeless” appears. Litzinger notes that some of the signs that appear in the campaign – for instance, on billboards or in print – contain aspirations of homeless children, such as what they want to be when they grow up, something everyone can relate to.

“In going through all of the statistics associated with homelessness, the fact that 235,000 Canadians experience homelessness every year, and one in seven of those using a shelter is a child, really impacted us,” Litzinger says. “It led us to the idea of focusing on the hopes and dreams of both adults and children…because no dreams should be homeless.”

The campaign also includes creative in TV, print, radio, social and OOH. Litzinger also adds that there are roughly three to four miniature castles going around to various locations across the country.

Litzinger says the campaign is slated to run until the end of March, though it may run again later in the year. M&K Media handled the media buy for the campaign, while the Colony Project dealt with the PR.