RAW: Marc USA works for Chicago’s homeless

I tell many Angelenos that Chicago is the best summer city in the country. I rave about the lakes, the genuine friendliness of the people, the music and food. I love the city and I am happy to refer to it as, “home.”

Its 4-star city rating can be seen everywhere – from the city’s most visible flag as well as on businesses, front porches, t-shirts and even tattooed on many locals – today Chicago’s 4-star flag symbolizes for most residents the city’s top quality of life, rather than the historical events represented on it.

But for many, as this wonderful and clever campaign from MARC USA points out, that Michigan Avenue isn’t the same for all of us. For every shopper toting bags from Neiman Marcus, there is someone across the street just hoping for a peaceful night.

The agency’s new campaign wants to create awareness and support for the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless plays on the city’s highly popular 4-star flag. Launching during national Homeless Awareness Week (November 11-19).

All contrast well-known Chicago neighborhoods one would rate “four stars” with the “half-star rated” viaducts and street corners that serve as home for thousands of Chicagoans. The spot ends with the call-to-action, “Let’s make Chicago a 4-star city for everyone” and urges donations to the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, which is dedicated to preventing and ending homelessness. A mobile donation platform is included to make it easy to get involved.

Also Read: Dwelling within Chicago’s Public Housing Unit

Matt Sullivan, SVP, Senior Creative Director at MARC USA, explains the inspiration for the campaign. “You see the 4-star flag flying everywhere in the city. Everyone looks up at it with pride, but few look around to see that for those who are homeless, this really isn’t a ‘4-star’ city. We wanted to activate Chicagoans to think about homelessness and support efforts to make a difference… especially as we get closer to winter.”

The agency chose to partner with the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless because of its mission of advocacy and policy change to impact the root causes of homelessness. CCH Executive Director Doug Schenkelberg, says, “We are so grateful for MARC USA’s work to put a face on homelessness in our city and create awareness of our efforts toward long-term change for the more than 80,000 homeless people here.”

The integrated campaign features :30 and :60 videos running as broadcast and digital PSAs as well as print and outdoor versions

With many of us a paycheck or two away from joining a tent village, this is provocative and moving execution, written by Matt Horton and Andy Horton and art-directed by Carly Neville, will hopefully mean something to the locals who have a little something to give. It’s a four-star execution for a four-star city making it RAW for this week.