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Mercy Ships Canada readies awareness campaign

Charitable organization Mercy Ships Canada is preparing a new campaign intended to raise awareness of and funds for its work providing medical care to impoverished nations via a hospital ship. Developed by Geometry Global Canada in association with Ogilvy & Mather Canada and Neat Marketing Communications, the effort will depict life on the Africa Mercy, a volunteer-run ship offering surgical care, training and community support. It will begin with a gallery exhibition of photographs taken on the ship.

The exhibition, called "Mercy," will run from May 26 to June 5 in Toronto as part of the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival. The original photographs will be sold through the gallery and prints will be sold online to raise funds for the organization. Visitors to the exhibition will also be able to scan an image with a mobile device to make an instant donation related to the treatment or medical supply depicted.

The photographs will also be used in an upcoming advertising campaign consisting of 15-second commercials, print advertising and social media activities.

"Our goal is to bring Mercy Ships into the Canadian consciousness," said Nuala Byles, executive creative director of Geometry Global Toronto. "To do this we needed to reach a new audience. Our research shows that millennials will get involved with a cause if they are inspired by a sense of community and the chance to drive real, positive change. These facts drove our approach in terms of who we wanted to collaborate with and how the campaign would come to life. Matt Barnes, a celebrated pop-culture photographer and director with blue-chip clients and a big millennial fan base, made perfect sense for this campaign."

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