2016 Winners

SILVER: Connection Strategy
SILVER: Evolution Strategy: Keeping it Fresh
BRONZE: Game Changer

Raising the Roof

Coming Soon

Leo Burnett Toronto

A staggering 235,000 Canadians experience homelessness every year. Raising the Roof, a non-profit supporting those without a home, needed to show people that short-term solutions (such as homeless shelters) are not the answer to the long-term problem. Instead, there should be a focus on long-term measures (such as changes to government policy) that put an end to homelessness for good.

The organization and Leo Burnett decided to connect people to the problem in new way. The team created a clever hoax that forced people to experience the negative side of short-term solutions to homelessness for themselves.

The idea was born out NIMBYism: the notion of "Not In My Back Yard". To get people talking about long-term solutions, the organization had to show the inadequacies of short-term solutions closer to home.

The agency found a property for lease in an affluent area (and one of the last places anybody would expect to see a homeless shelter) in Toronto and covered it with a plywood façade. It featured a sign with "Homeless Shelter – Coming Soon!" and encouraged people to contact the shelter for more information. It created an immediate uproar among those who saw it as a long-term problem for the community. People called in and left messages saying they did not want a shelter in their "backyard."

Within hours, the team revealed that Raising the Roof didn't want a shelter in their backyard either, with a sign that read: "You told us you don't want a shelter here. Neither do we. Support us in creating long-term solutions. Let's end homelessness."

The "hoax" caused a media frenzy that reached every major Toronto news outlet, as well as other parts of the world. The result was an estimated 7.7 million unique impressions with zero dollars invested in media. The video earned 52,000 views and donations to Raising the Roof increased 506% versus the previous year.

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Agency: Leo Burnett Toronto

CCO: Judy John

Group CDs: Anthony Chelvanathan, Steve Persico

Copywriter: Steve Persico

AD: Anthony Chelvanathan

Executive producer: Franca Piacente

Group account director: Natasha Dagenais

Account supervisor: Kayla Osmond

Production company: Skin & Bones

Director: Angie Bird

DOPs: Anthony Deluca, Michael Chiang

Producers: Tony Phibbs, Jeff Schwartz

Location Manager: Christian Wood

Editing Company: Rooster

Editor: Chris Parkins

Assistant editor: Craig Jay

Producer: Yumi Suyama

Post Production Company: Fort York

Producer: Erice Bourgalt-Assaf

Music house: The Eggplant

Producer: Rocco Gagliese

Engineer: Nathan Handy

Executive producer: Nicola Treadgold

Production coordinator: Lindsay Fry

For registration inquiries, please contact Ben Soldinger at bsoldinger@brunico.com.
For partnership inquiries, please contact Neil Ewen at newen@brunico.com.