Depaul UK: Don't raise money, make money

Benjamin Worden and Ant Harris
Publicis London


The traditional charity marketing model relies on getting people to care enough about your cause to want to donate. In recessionary times, advertising has to work even harder to convince cash-strapped people to donate. With more charities fighting for a shrinking pool of disposable income, the traditional advertising model becomes less and less sustainable.

For Depaul UK, a small youth homelessness charity, budget constraints make it very hard to compete in this context.

So in 2012 we set out to find a new model.

By recognising that the temporary "homelessness" of house-movers makes them more sympathetic to the plight of homeless people, we saw an opportunity to create a new marketing model in which Depaul UK could make money selling something that house-movers really needed: cardboard boxes. By branding our boxes we were able to raise awareness and make people feel good about the choice they'd made. And so the Depaul Box Company was born…