“What if we cared about those living in poverty as much as we care about celebrities?”
This is a simple question asked by WoodGreen Community Services to raise awareness about the daily struggles of single mothers living in poverty.
WoodGreen, a large social service agency in Toronto, works to help people find job training, affordable housing, childcare, and more. In their recent campaign to support single mothers, the agency presents the unpolished face of poverty in tabloid covers and the mock entertainment news show Gossip Today.
Headlines in the Gossip Today segment – delivered by the ironically chipper, perfectly coiffed hosts – include “Not enough money for secondhand shoes – Sarah Campbell cuts her shopping trip short” and “Working 15-hour days just to feed her kids – why this single mom can’t make ends meet.” At the end of the video, viewers then have the option to watch five videos profiling the stories of single mothers.
The WoodGreen campaign is an interesting and innovative way to raise awareness about an important cause, in addition to critiquing our society’s obsession with the minutiae of celebrities’ lives. It’s also a reminder of how marketing can be a powerful tool in bringing attention to key social issues, especially if it’s presented in a subversive format.
How would the media and our reaction to the media change if truthful depictions of women’s lives were featured and not “glossed” over – when the struggles of women are accurately addressed beyond romance drama and body scrutiny? Would people ignore it as a depressing reality, or view it as a call to action?
What are other unique marketing ideas to promote important issues that women face?
Allie Semperger studied English at Kalamazoo College and screenwriting at UCLA. After studying abroad in London and traveling around Europe, she became a travel lover for life, and is always making plans for her next adventure. She recommends Marina and the Diamonds. She created the feminist Tumblr blog, Women’s Issues Are Society’s Issues, and aspires to make the world a better place for women and girls. important issues that women face?