Communications News: Red Cross uses real life cases in novel posters

The Red Cross is picturing the faces of three of its beneficiaries on awareness posters across the UK in a departure from previous ad campaigns.

In the past, the charity's posters have focused on conceptual approaches, and the switch is believed to be the first time it has profiled its beneficiaries.

Posters will appear at 170 main railway stations, 40 Asda supermarket sites and on five mobile ad vans to raise awareness of this year's Red Cross Week (2-8 May).

This year's awareness week falls one month before the 60th anniversary of D-Day and the charity wanted the posters to reflect its work over that time.

"They reflect the range of our services during war and peacetime, including first-aid training and our tracing and messaging work," said Tim Pemberton, acting director of communications. Created by WWAV Rapp Collins, he felt the posters represented "the best emotive impact".

Each poster features someone from the past six decades, declaring: "I owe my life to the Red Cross." Among them is Willie Groat, who was rescued after being buried alive by an explosion in the Egyptian desert during WW2 in 1941. The other two feature a woman who was rescued as a child, and a teenager whose mother was traced by the charity.

Pemberton added that the ad style is likely be retained for next year's 60th anniversary of VE Day.

- See News in Focus, p12.

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