Medium and message

How Crisis took advantage of February's cold snap

Crisis snow campaign
Crisis snow campaign

Crisis used cardboard 'beds' to remind the public that not everybody enjoyed the sudden cold snap in February.

The charity worked with a marketing agency to produce 30 'beds', which were strategically placed across the capital the day after the first snowfall. The posters bore the charity's website address and the words "Loving the snow? Try sleeping in it".

Crisis hoped to use the unexpected snowfall to remind people that death is a very real possibility for rough sleepers in cold weather. The 'beds' were placed in crowded areas such as tube stations and outside offices, and in places frequented by homeless people such as doorways and alleyways. They were dropped off in the evening and picked up the next day.

Leslie Morphy, chief executive of Crisis, says the idea came from the charity's marketing agency, Rapp, with which it has worked on many projects. "It was vital that we got the ad out before the snow melted," she says. "We moved quickly and brought the campaign to life in less than 24 hours."

Robert Mayes, group communications director at Rapp, adds that good communication was essential. "Crisis reacted as quickly as we did, making the whole process easy," he says. "As soon as you've got the idea, it's important to tell the relevant people. We had only a small window of opportunity and work can take time to get signed off."

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