Brand: Depaul UK
Client: Depaul UK
Agency: Publicis London
The charity Depaul UK helps young homeless people get back on their feet.
When their new CEO asked us for a campaign, we realised we'd achieve the greatest social impact by getting young people to engage with the problem. Our research showed homelessness wasn't currently registering as an issue on their radar. Further research revealed a psychological explanation: our brains systematically 'dehumanise' the homeless, making us turn away from the issue in 'disgust'.
The communications challenge was therefore to humanise homelessness in a way that would overcome people's innate aversion to the issue. This was no easy task, given the client had zero advertising budget.
Noticing that headphones were often used to block out 'unpleasant' things like homelessness, we decided to turn this shield into a weapon, using the power of music to humanise homelessness. Our creative idea 'Depaul Unheard' told the stories of five formerly homeless young people, whom the charity had helped get back on their feet. Their stories were told through bespoke playlists, in which the titles of each track revealed their experiences.