Psychology of Consumer Behaviour |

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Baby it's Cold Outside- When ad guys do good- TAXI !

I have a little exercise I use in one of my classes to try to get the class to put themselves in the place of early Canadian settlers who lived in remote places across Canada. For many of those settlers the most exciting event might have been receiving the Eaton’s catalogue.

The catalogue was about sell, sell, sell, but it connected people and told about life and most certainly had a life that lived longer than its yearly issue. I ask the students to get into groups and write down all the ways those settlers may have used those catalogues. They usually come up with things like learning the language, making paper dolls, wallpaper, outhouse necessity and some have even come with hockey shin pads.

The idea of using the pages as insulation is usually one of the first ideas they think of. Am I alone in ripping down a wall and finding old girly magazines and newspapers? Probably not.

Understanding that newsprint is one of the best insulators is one of those things we take for granted. But last year some ad people at Canadian agency Taxi decided to think about newspaper as insulation and have done something that will more than warm the heart of a few homeless people.

Last year was Taxi’s 15th anniversary; they wanted to give back to the community with a big idea. What they came up with is the 15 Below Jacket- a jacket with multiple pockets that can be stuffed with crumpled newspapers to withstand temperatures to 15 below.

Waterproof and windproof, it can be worn as a raincoat when the stuffing is removed. And yes, the jackets were tested at 15 below in meat lockers for eight hours to ensure their durability.

See the testing

3000 of the 15 below jackets have been distributed to the homeless in big cities across Canada. This past November, Taxi auctioned fifteen of the 15 below Jackets on eBay for The Salvation Army. The jackets were signed by celebrities like Kim Cattrall, Nelly Furtado, Jon Stewart and "The Daily Show" cast, Robert Plant, Kid Rock, and R.E.M. and Sir Elton John.

Taxi is looking for corporate sponsors to keep the project up and running. See the website 15 Below Project

It is estimated that 300,000 people in Canada and 744,313 in the U.S. live on the streets.
We can rant against the ad people but there are some who do make a difference. It's a low cost-high concept solution. It's kind of heart warming!

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