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Salvation Army begins poverty awareness campaign

Charitable organization The Salvation Army has begun a campaign called "Poverty Isn't Always Easy to See," intended to raise awareness of the one-in-10 Canadians living in poverty. Developed by Grey Canada of Toronto, the initiative consists of an exhibit and a video series intended to convey that poverty is not the same as homelessness, and to encourage donations outside of the holiday season. The campaign also includes online, out-of-home and print advertising.

The exhibit, called "Open House," made use of a house which looked well-kept from the outside, but inside depicted the life of a family living in poverty through a series of plaques and visual displays. Hidden cameras were used to record the reactions of visitors. The exhibit has been adapted into an online presentation at <>. The campaign also includes one long-format video and two 30-second online videos. The effort will run until the end of June. Media planning was handled by MediaCom.

"Thanks to our generous donors, The Salvation Army assisted over 1.8 million Canadians with food, shelter and other practical assistance last year," said John McAlister, national director of marketing and communications at the organization. "We're passionately committed to eradicating poverty and caring for people who are struggling. This initiative will help educate the public about what it means to live in poverty, and what they can do to help."

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