Centraide’s new look for a new kind of donor

September 17, 2012  |  Russ Martin  |  Comments

Centraide, the Quebec chapter of the United Way, has released a new campaign featuring a diverse cast of donors portrayed as angels.

The TV, print and poster ads show characters ranging from a tattooed middle aged man to a maid, a woman in a sari and a businessman – all dressed in angel wings. Publicis Montreal vice-president and creative director Nicolas Massey, whose agency create the ads pro bono, explained the cast reflects Centraide’s wide donor base.

“What I wanted to express with this campaign is that we all have the gift of being an angel for someone. We all have the power of generosity,” Massey said. “You can be a corporate president, a stripper, a cleaning lady or even a biker but you can still help a fellow person.”

Michèle Thibodeau-DeGuire, president and executive director of Centraide of Greater Montreal, said the ads also reflect the organization’s current objective to reach donors outside of its traditional base.

In the past most of Centraide’s donations have come through either payroll donations or large gifts from key donors. Thibodeau-DeGuire said the organization is looking to appeal to new demographics and encourage small donations made directly to Centraide.

For this campaign Publicis altered the open-palm logo Centraide shares with the United Way, turning the two hands outwards to create a set of angel wings. While it took a simple approach with the print ads, featuring the altered logo and a single model on a white background with the tagline “Donating is uplifting,” Massey said he wanted to be more poetic and creative with the TV spot.

The spot opens with a ballerina in deep purple angel wings, set to music by the Icelandic critical darlings Sigur Ros. It moves through a cast of of eight “angel” donors, each wearing angel wings Publicis animated with 3D rendering. The 27-second spot contains no dialogue.

Approximately $900,000 in print, TV, radio and OOH space has been donated to Centraide for the campaign from a variety of media companies including Astral, RDS, Cogeco Métromédia, the Montreal Gazette and Infopresse.

This year’s Centraide campaign follows the 2011 fall campaign, also created by Publicis, which featured well-known Quebec personalities such as Joannie Rochette, Guylaine Tremblay, Jean-Nicolas Verreault in the nude.

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