FCB uses spoken word to introduce Home Depot’s new skilled trades training

Who: Home Depot, with FCB and Linetest for animation.

What: “Real Change,” an ad introducing the retailer’s TradeWorx program, which fights youth homelessness by providing career education and training in skilled trades.

When & Where: The ad launched Sept. 27 in French and English, with 60-, 30- and 15-second versions. There is some paid support on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, as well as through Home Depot’s owned channels.

Why: Home Depot said it has been investing in research and housing initiatives for eight years, but created this new program as part of an “integrated approach” to tackling the problem.

“TradeWorx builds upon our work with community partners that provide emergency housing and social supports for youth by connecting them with the training needed to establish lasting careers and acquire stable housing,” said Pamela O’Rourke, chair of The Home Depot Canada Foundation and Home Depot’s VP of merchandising.

Through its $1 million investment, 100 Canadian youth who have experienced homelessness will receive skilled trades training.

How: The spot tells the story of a youth named Taye. At first, Taye is homeless and begging for change on the street, but changes her life by learning construction skills and eventually opening her own construction business. “And now I’m no longer asking for the type of change that clinks, I found the type of change that builds,” says Toronto-based spoken word artist Desiree McKenzie, who provides the voiceover for the spot.

In a release introducing the spot, FCB said it chose animation because it “provided the team with the freedom to explore storytelling in a manner that wouldn’t have been possible through film.” The agency said that it opted for spoken word because “it has a way of communicating frustrations and challenges, as well as hope and empowerment.”

And we quote: “This campaign shows how a great initiative partnered with powerful storytelling can be a catalyst for meaningful change in the world.” Les Soos, group creative director, FCB

David Brown