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No place to call home: Shelter campaign reveals the reality of homelessness

AMV BBDO is behind latest Shelter spot, highlighting difficulty of sleeping rough this Christmas

By Creative Salon

Shelter and AMV BBDO are launching a hard-hitting new campaign to highlight the terrible injustice of people left without a safe and warm place to call home this Christmas, as freezing temperatures grip the country.

The arresting, heart-wrenching campaign, called “This is no place to call home” and created by AMV BBDO, juxtaposes the traditional cosiness of the festive season with the bleak reality for those without a safe place to call home. The campaign is running on billboards across the UK as well as online from 19th December with a call to action to donate to Shelter.

The starkly shot images show the plight of people who have to sleep outside in freezing temperatures and in unsafe temporary accommodation. It features a tent festooned with Christmas lights pitched under a gloomy bridge at night time; an isolated, fairy light-strewn bus shelter housing someone’s blanket, the only thing to keep them warm in the winter chill; along with a festively-decorated park bench and a fairy-lit back seat of a car, both of which double as rough sleepers’ grim beds for the night, with the line: “This is no place to spend Christmas”.

With the current Arctic weather sparking alarm in headlines about the dangers to homeless people in the UK, the campaign drives home that as most of us put up the tree and deck halls with Yuletide decorations, we appreciate the safety, comfort and happiness a home brings more than at any other time of the year. But for those without a safe place to call home – in a freezing bedsit, a cramped hostel, the back seats of cars, sofa surfing or sleeping rough - Christmas can be the toughest time of the year.

Right now, thousands of people across the country are waking up every morning in the cold, not knowing where they will spend the next night. This is only set to get worse as the cost of living crisis escalates.

This campaign is being launched as the national housing emergency continues to worsen with rising numbers of people at risk of losing their homes, thousands of families trapped in barely habitable temporary accommodation for months on end, and people living and dying on our streets.

Shelter warned last month that this winter could be one of the toughest yet as it revealed 70% of callers to its emergency helpline say the cost of living crisis is making their housing situation worse.

As a result, Shelter’s emergency helpline in England is being inundated by those who have no one else to turn to, with more than 1,000 calls on average made to their emergency helpline every day. Shelter CEO Polly Neate said: “It’s truly shocking that so many thousands of people in England are currently homeless or facing homelessness, especially as the temperatures plummet and we approach Christmas. This campaign is a stark illustration of homelessness and I hope everyone who see it is encouraged to join Shelter in our fight against the housing emergency. It's only with the public's support that we can be there for people this winter and stand against us tackle the injustice of homelessness.”

The new Shelter campaign has been created pro bono by award-winning London-based advertising agency AMV BBDO, which has also been behind thought-provoking, arresting campaigns for brands including Bodyform, Maltesers, Macmillan, Tena and Guinness. The campaign has been generously supported by Posterscope and MG OMD.

People can help by donating here.

Creative credits

Client: Shelter

Client name: Claire Whitney (Shelter - Head of Acquisition); Nick Martin (Shelter- Senior Brand Manager) Hollie Joyce - (Shelter -Senior Designer)

Creative Agency: AMV BBDO

CCO: Nadja Lossgott and Nicholas Hulley

Creative Team: Laurens Grainger and Alicia Cliffe

Agency Account Team: Laura Balfour

Agency Producer: Rhiannon Nicol

Agency Designer: Mario Kerkstra

Media Agency: MG OMD

Production Company: Still Productions

Photographer: Simon Winnall ℅ Picture Club

DOP: Louis Mackay

Stylist: Mim Quin-Harkin

Retoucher: Massive Face

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