Centraide’s revealing new anti-poverty campaign

September 22, 2011  |  Kristin Laird  |  Comments

Centraide, the Quebec chapter of the United Way, recruited homegrown celebrities to bare all for a new multiplatform advertising campaign from Publicis Montréal that helps demonstrate that “underneath, we are all the same.”

The effort was created pro bono by the agency and features black and white images of well-known Quebec personalities such as Joannie Rochette, Guylaine Tremblay, Jean-Nicolas Verreault, Annie Villeneuve and members of the group Simple Plan, posing nude.

The images appear across out-of-home, television, print and magazine ads with the new campaign tag line: “Underneath, we are all the same.” The campaign also includes radio.

“You can be a known personality but at the end of the day when we take your wallet and clothes, we are all on the same level and we’re all very fragile,” said Nicolas Massey, creative director, Publicis Montreal, which has held the account for six years.

The campaign was six months in the making, said Massey, adding that some of the celebrities the agency originally approached for the campaign turned down the opportunity. Massey admires the courage of the celebrities who did participate in the campaign, saying, “I wouldn’t want to see myself naked on a billboard.”

In a release, Michèle Thibodeau-DeGuire, president and chief executive officer of Centraide of Greater Montreal, said the campaign emphasizes the importance of uniting to fight poverty.

According to Thibodeau-DeGuire, one in eight people in Quebec live in poverty and one in six children in Montreal grow up in a poor family.

“Poverty hinders people’s chances of making a better future for themselves. The agencies we support help people to overcome their poverty,” she said.

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