How homeless magazine marketing in Sweden is driving some of the best pro-bono advertising in quite a while

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Many of the larger cities across Europe and North America have publications that are sold by homeless people. The magazines serve to help care for the sellers (ie. those that are homeless) by giving them shelter, etc. Unfortunately as the number of homeless grew, so did the number of sellers of the magazines across the cities. The result is that the general public have become immune to the message, and somewhat irritated by the presence of so many sellers, which at the end of the day has caused sales to decrease. Fortunately, the advertising community has been called upon to help shift consumer perceptions.

In Sweden, the magazines have turned to advertising to help quickly shift society’s perception of the magazines and how they help the homeless. I have found 2 campaigns from two different magazines from Stockholm and Gothenburg. Each attempt to bring the public closer to the sellers, the homeless people.

One program literally brought to life the stories of many of the homeless people, by creating an OOH campaign of the real-life CVs of the sellers close to where the magazines were being sold. The idea was for Situation Stockholm and almost instantly reversed the sales decline of the magazine. The video says it all.

Situation STHLM Case study from ingosthlm on Vimeo.

The second program focused on getting people to experience what it felt like to sleep on the rough. They did this by creating a fake hotel made of rooms of actual locations where homeless sleep. People were able to rent out the rooms at a good price and the proceeds went to Faktum, the local magazine which helps the homeless. Have a look. Brilliant.

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