An advertising firm called the Via Group in Maine took on a big challenge from The Salvation Army. They designed a totally free ad campaign on the condition that the Army would let them experiment with new ideas and approaches. What they got is a stunning example of creativity and partnership.

The Via Group got 50 local companies to agree to “advertise” for the Army on pizza boxes, coffee cup sleeves, and restroom mirrors, for example. A team of guerrilla marketers even took to the streets drawing on dirty car windows and painting rocks red with the slogan: “the less we spend on advertising, the more people we can reach” and “Doing the Most Good With Your Donations.”
Portland Pie
One of the 50 companies committed to help is Portland Pie, a favorite pizza place in town. They agreed to rubber stamp the inside of each pizza box for two weeks with the message: “The money we saved advertising on this pizza box helps us provide food for the homeless.”

New England Cable News did a great piece on the campaign which is posted to their website. Click here to watch it.

This summer I’d like to pick a small-sized city here in the Western US, organize a team of volunteers and do a “free” marketing campaign to get the word out about the fine work of the Army helping people in need. Anyone want to join me?

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