War Child Canada has launched a series of online videos and radio commercials promoting warchildgifts.ca— a website where people can purchase symbolic gifts for loved ones that give people in war-torn countries the necessities to survive and rebuild their life.
In the videos, people have their lives saved thanks to a horrible gift. In one example a woman hanging lights falls from a ladder only to have her head protected by a tacky singing kitten pillow. In the other a man is rescued from choking to death by performing a self-Heimlich with a bust of a golden panther. The spots end with the tag line “Bad gifts don’t save lives. War Child gifts actually do”.
“Over the holiday season it’s difficult to get your message out there in a memorable way” says James Topham, Director of communications for War Child. “We deliberately avoid guilt tripping people in advertising, so this campaign appealed to us because it used dark humor instead. We thought it would stick out among all the tactical advertising you see and hear this time of year.”
“We thought the absurdity of showing bad gifts helping people would make viewers realize how much good War Child Gifts do.” says Simon Bruyn, writer at john st.— the agency behind the campaign.
Title: Holiday Heimlich
Agency: John St.
Client: War Child Canada
Creative Director: Angus Tucker, Stephen Jurisic
Writer: Simon Bruyn
Art Director: Andrew Livingston
Account Manager: Zoe Baines
Producer: Dale Giffen
Digital Producer: Cas Ward
Production Company: OPC
Production Manager: Dwight Phipps
Director: Jon Barber
Director of Photography: Doug Koch
Editor: Jonathan Egan
Audio House: Vapor Music Group
Audio director: Joey Serlin
Audio engineer: Julian Rudd
Casting House: Fade To Black
Released December 2nd, 2010