When people think about poverty, most people think that it means somebody is living on the streets, very rarely do people realize that many struggling with poverty have a roof over their head. Partnering with The Salvation Army, Grey Canada created a campaign with MediaCom to show what poverty can look like.
What looked like an ordinary house on any street in Canada was actually a revealing PSA about poverty. The building was advertised like an open house, but when visitors stepped inside, they were greeted by a tragic look at how people might be living in poverty.
The campaign titled Poverty Isn’t Always Easy to See, which can be experienced online in an interactive tour of the house, is an example of what a family living in poverty experiences and puts a spotlight on the struggles of more than 300,000 Canadians living under the poverty line. Within the home, visitors can read plagues and view displays that educate the viewers on the truth about poverty. The campaign utilized hidden footage from the 20 cameras placed throughout the home to show how unsuspecting visitors walking through the home reacted to the devastating information.
“A few days prior to the open house, we put flyers up in the area and in surrounding business storefronts and placed signage throughout the neighborhood,” Darlene Remlinger, president of Grey Canada, told AdFreak. “The house was completely staged using items and goods found at a local Salvation Army depot. Upon entering the home, a ‘real estate agent’ was on hand to welcome prospective buyers and gave them a short explanation of the campaign.”
The campaign was created to educate and change perceptions about people living in poverty throughout Canada. Remlinger explained that most Canadians believed poverty meant living on the street, but, as she says, this is sadly far from the truth. “One in 10 Canadians struggle to make ends meet, even with a roof over their head,” she revealed. “Our idea was to open the doors and invite the public into the everyday home and circumstances of a family living in poverty. We wanted to show how poverty can live on your street or in your neighborhood. It’s just not always easy to see.” John McAlister, national director of marketing and communications at The Salvation Army, hopes the initiative will educate people about poverty and inform the public on what they can do to help.
Tour the house yourself here.