WoodGreen Community Services

"Single Mom Celebrities"

According to Statistics Canada, about 3.2 million Canadians now live with low income. Of this, 634,000 are children. Unfortunately, many Canadians assume that the country's issues of poverty are more prevalent outside our borders.

WoodGreen's challenge was to bring attention to the issue at hand. As a social service agency in Toronto, dedicated to supporting the Toronto community with a breadth of services for those in need, they wanted to acknowledge struggling single moms, break down stereotypes surrounding those in need and demonstrate that they can help bring about change.

DDB realized that there's a dichotomy between Canadian's good intentions, and what they're actually paying attention to. Struggling single moms aren't on their radars. Meanwhile, Canadians' obsession with celebrity borders on the absurd. So the agency decided to pay more attention to the people who actually need it.

Many can't help but read the headlines of the gossip mags in the grocery store, or change the channel when the entertainment news show comes on. These shows pull people in with their happy-go-lucky attitudes and attention-getting teasers. The agency leveraged these formulas to bring attention to women who have either completed or are currently participating in the WoodGreen Homeward Bound program.

It featured real women who are working to get out of poverty on the front covers of faux celebrity magazines for our print and OOH executions. A TV spot mimicked famous celebrity news broadcasts with happy hosts who report on stories of struggling single moms instead of celebrities. And once on the WoodGreen website, they could watch videos of interviews the agency conducted with the women in the campaign who talked about their real-life struggles and how the Homeward Bound program changed their lives.

Because WoodGreen is locally based, DDB focused media attention on the GTA area through donated TV, digital, transit, and OOH space.

Jezebel.com, which normally reports on celebrity-inspired stories and has a reach of about 13 million people per month, picked up the campaign. After that, WoodGreen was approached many media stations for interviews. The agency asked David Miller (former mayor of Toronto with a Twitter following of about 325,000) to tweet about the campaign to keep the momentum going. Rosie O'Donnell (who has over 750,000 followers) also posted to twitter about the campaign.