CHRISTIAN AID: The client may be right.

I once pitched for Christian Aid.
It’s an emotional subject matter, I got emotional.
Sean Doyle and I wrote lots of very angry ads, essentially trying force people to reach into their pockets and save a starving child’s life.Christian Aid, RED, Page of Roughs - B, CDD-01.jpg

Christian Aid, RED, Page of roughs - C, CDD-01.jpgChristian Aid, RED, Page of Roughs - D, CDD-01.jpgChristian Aid, RED, Sheet of roughs - A, CDD-01.jpgChristian Aid, RED, Tube 1., CDD.jpgChristian Aid, RED, Envelope, CDD-01.jpgChristian Aid, RED, '3rd World - b', CDD-01.jpgChristian Aid, RED, '3rd World', CDD-01.jpg
We won the pitch.
We met our brand new client, Claire.
She said, rather sheepishly, ‘The ads… we like them, but they look so gloomy, and… well, we’re all quite positive around here and wondered whether they could look a bit more upbeat?’
It was our first meeting and the clients were very nice, so I bit my tongue and said I’d go away and explore.
I left thinking she was nuts, we were talking about dying children, what’s so upbeat about that?
I stared at the ads and tried to think about how we could solve the issue. Christian Aid, RED, 'The Money We Spent', CDD*-01.jpgChristian Aid, RED 'Only one life?'. CDD-01.jpgChristian Aid, RED, 'To help'. CDD-01.jpgChristian Aid, RED, 'Your Donation won't', CDD-01.jpgChristian Aid, RED, 'You are', CDD-01.jpgThe answer was obvious; we can’t.
We can’t make negative content look positive, we needed positive content.
A planner was sent to their Waterloo offices to dig around and interview people.
He came back with a big bunch of notes.
Buried amongst them was a quote ‘As you know, we only invest in things that multiply’.
It was from an old lady who’d worked for Christian Aid for nearly thirty years, her example was that they’ll send a male and female goat to Africa, but they’d never send goats meat.
Amazing! That sounds like you could actually eradicate the issue given time.
What could be more positive than that?We, well Sean, turned that idea into a line for Christian Aid Day.Christian Aid Rough-03They were very simple, very clear, but seemed to lack a bit of oomph.
But they shouldn’t feel addy or hard-nosed, so I got our lovely diagram illustrator, Harriet Russell, to sketch out an alphabet, I wanted it to have to be white with a black drop-shadow to help it jump out against the bright colours.As the diagram was doing all the heavy lifting perhaps we could have some headlines that play off the diagrams, to add a bit of personality and humour?

Christian Aid, 'Go Forth', CDD, RGB)-01.jpgChristian Aid, Multiply, 'Loaves'. CDD-01.jpgChristian Aid, Multiply, 'Chicken'. CDD-01.jpgChristian Aid, 'Noah, CDD, RGB)-01.jpg'Bees' Christian Aid:Dave Dye, CDD_Christian Aid, Multiply, 'Fish'. CDD.jpg

It turned out to be the most successful Christian Aid Week ever.
Although Claire couldn’t quite articulate it, her instinct was 100% right.

Nb. We also did a ton of issue-based stuff and some lovely Christmas wrapping paper.Christian Aid, RED, 'Slavery', CDD-01Christian Aid, 'Free Trade'. CDD_Christian Aid, 'Spongers'. CDDChristian Aid, 'Wanted*', CDD-01Christian Aid, 'Your Parents*', CDD-01Christian Aid, 'Christian'. CDDChristian Aid, G8, 'Hello Badges'. CDD-01407fc79751155.560d967c9c13e__0ab21b9751155.58074d6bbc5188b27a99751155.560d9601d9527


4 responses to CHRISTIAN AID: The client may be right.

    • davedye1 says:

      Cheers Neil, good if annoying spot.
      Can’t believe it ran like that? Maybe it’s an early, non-grimmatucal rough version.
      (I’m going to rewrite history and change it, so if anyone is reading this post after today it’ll make no sense.
      (I could only spot one typo, were there more or is ‘typos’ a typo?)

      • neilchristie says:

        There’s the unnecessary apostrophe in “bee’s” and, personally, I wouldn’t capitalise the D in “diagram” following a colon but that may well have been a deliberate stylistic choice.

  1. davedye1 says:

    ‘Bee’s’? No there isn’t?
    Check again sir,
    you must have imagined it?

    Capitalising letters after colons? I quite like it, it’s fun.

    Cheers Neil.


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