Kirsty Marrins

PRO

8 April 2015

The power of words – Depaul UK’s innovative new campaign

Depaul UK is a charity that helps homeless and disadvantaged young people fulfil their potential in the community. For a long time now I’ve been impressed by their innovative campaigns. The first one that caught my attention was their box company. It is such a clever idea and the copy on the website is simple, short and effective:

We believe our boxes are the best in the world. Because they’re not just any boxes, they help save lives. That’s because all the profits go to our youth homeless charity. So when you move your stuff you’ll help a young person move off the street.

It can be difficult sometimes for charities to communicate clearly and succinctly why they need your help and what your support or donation would mean in terms of impact. In fact, so many charities fail miserably at this as they have far too much copy on their websites and haven’t realised that less is in fact more. For me, Depaul UK understands the power of words and the effect that they can have and this is evident in their latest campaign, which was unveiled last week.

The charity launched their new Street Corners poster campaign to promote their Nightstop service, which places homeless young people in the spare rooms of volunteers for a night or two, until permanent accommodation can be found. The posters are placed on corners of London streets where young homeless people are likely to be found.

Depaul poster

Challenging perceptions

The poster is meant to encourage people to host a homeless person by offering ‘another side of the story’ when the two stories are read together.

It’s a very clever, visually striking campaign that surely will get people to stop and start thinking about how they can help. It’s interesting in that is has clearly been designed to get people to take photos and then post on social media – hopefully spreading awareness and possibly even engaging in debate.

If you saw this on the street, would you stop and read it? More importantly, would you act?