Salvation Army recruits Canadians to join its ‘army of givers’

Who: The Salvation Army Canada, with Grey for creative and MediaCom for media.

What: A holiday campaign asking Canadians to join what it calls its “army of givers,” giving not just money, but anything capable of lifting someone’s spirits or providing a moment of joy or hope. “This year, our campaign asks Canadians to give what they can. Whether it’s money, time, a hand, a toy, or even a meal, the campaign looks to celebrate the spirit of giving,” said Neil Leduke, territorial director of marketing and communications.

When & Where: The ads debuted last month and are running through Dec. 26 across TV, radio/digital audio, and out-of-home, supported by influencer partnerships and content. The Salvation Army has also announced its 12th annual “Fill the Kettle Day,” a partnership with Walmart Canada that sees the retailer match donations made to the charity in in its stores, to a maximum of $100,000.

Why: The Salvation Army helped provide more than 2.1 million Canadians with food, clothing and other help last year, and has a stated national fundraising goal of $20 million for this year’s Christmas Kettle campaign.

How: The campaign is highlighted by a 30-second spot called “Just Give” showing people engaged in various acts of giving, from putting money in a Salvation Army Christmas kettle to other small acts of kindness—like giving homemade cookies to a neighbour, a toy to a young boy, or a young girl giving her winter hat to a homeless person.

TSAs and social posts feature an outstretched arm handing items to people in need, such as a bag of food to a mother and her daughter, and a cup of coffee to a homeless person, accompanied by text reading “Give toys, joy hope” and “Give warmth, love, hope.” All of the ads feature the message “Everyone needs an army.”

In a release, the organization said that people often wonder why it’s so difficult for those in need to overcome their challenges, without realizing that many of us benefit from a support network of family and friends to fall back on if we encounter problems. “Because we are lucky enough to have that support, we don’t consider just how hard it is for those who have no one in their corner,” it said.

And we quote: “The idea of inviting Canadians to join the army of givers is built on the insight that you can’t expect people to move forward if no one has their back,” said Ryan McNeill, associate creative director at Grey. “And to encourage people to join, we asked them to give anyway that they can.”

Chris Powell