Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The "Cross-Walk"

Coming from Boston, you see a fair share of hunger and the homeless, usually holding up cardboard signs that read "help me feed my dog" or something equally as depressing (my favorite being "i wont lie, i need beer"). So of course, poverty is no phantom issue in my mind. Just last night on adverblog I saw a review of a campaign done recently in France. It's a guerrilla marketing campaign done near M├ędecins du Monde to draw attention to people sleeping and dying on the streets every winter because of the cold.

Black crosses line the sidewalks up and down streets and on the bottom of the horizontal board reads, "Every winter, hundreds of homeless die on the sidewalks. React." It might not be the most original concept considering lots of campaigns incorporate the cross to symbolize death. However, sometimes reverting back to classic, simplistic thinking is a great way to make a lasting impact.

The pictures of this campaign definitely caught my eye which makes me think the actual crosses would have as well. However, my major issue with this marketing tactic is the fact that the copy (while effective as it may be) is way too small. People are lazy. I am lazy. If I was walking by those crosses, I can't say for sure that I would care enough to bend over (possibly interupt the sidewalk traffic flow) to read the teeny tiny writing on the cross. And frankly, even if I did take said action, I might be hoping for a slightly more creative message after giving up a whole moment of my time. I think a possibility would be to personalize each cross with a name and sentence-long story then state "this is my grave."

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