13 October, 2014
Leading child protection charity, Barnardos Australia and media agency IKON communications, working pro-bono, have launched an integrated campaign designed to encourage people to "count yourself in" when thinking about becoming a foster carer.
The suite of five ads, which proudly and inspiringly feature a same-sex couple, a younger alternative couple with tattoos, dyed hair and piercings, a couple in motorcycle leathers, as well as an older couple and a single person, all send the message that Barnardos needs carers from different walks of life, to care for children in need of a safe and stable home.
The ads all feature first person quotes, such as - "We thought we couldn't be foster carers because we're gay, but we were wrong" - to address and debunk some of the myths that cause many people to discount themselves when it comes to being foster carers.
Running in yesterday's issue of MX Sydney, Barnardos' same-sex foster carer ad has already been embraced by mainstream media and endorsed by the gay community with LGBTI news website SameSame.com.au and author Benjamin Law re-tweeting the ad to their thousands of followers last night.
The campaign, which challenges conventional foster carer stereotypes, was entirely produced in-house by the charity at practically no cost. Barnardos Australia's brand and reputation team came up with the concept and undertook all creative, photography, copywriting and casting, even sourcing "volunteer" models to appear free of charge.
Says Amy Lee-Hopkins, brand and reputation manager, Barnardos Australia: "We are so grateful to everyone who donated their time to work on this campaign. From our models to our photographer to our media agency IKON, they all donated their time because they are as passionate as we are that all children deserve a safe and stable home. We couldn't have done it without them."
Rolling out over the next four weeks, the campaign features outdoor (bus, petrol pump and shopping centre digital billboards), 3 x 30 second and a 60 HO_00614_BarnardosFosterCamaignGN.jpgsecond radio ad, online and print advertising with an emphasis on CSA and minimal spend. Media agency IKON have gained commitment for the campaign from Val Morgan, ARN and DMG Radio, Fairfax Digital and Yahoo7, amongst others. Barnardos Australia also launched a supporting website and release videos each week of the campaign of interviews with real foster carers, including two same sex couples, to compliment the campaign.
Barnardos will be specifically targeting same sex media during the campaign, including advertising in the Nov-Dec issue of LOTL (out Oct 29), reinforcing the charity's 30 year policy of accepting foster carers who are straight, single, de facto or married.
Silke Bader, publisher of Lesbians On The Loose Magazine, has praised the charity on the direction of their campaign.
"Over the past 10 years the top topic for the Lesbian community has been about the "Lesbian baby Boom", she said.
"Our latest survey indicates that 22% of our readers have children. Fostering is a fantastic option for lesbian couples. I am so happy to see Barnardos targeting the lesbian community, which indicates for me acceptance and recognition of quality carers."
Creative: Barnardos Australia - Brand and Reputation Team: Amy Lee-Hopkins, Natalie Logan, Hannah Moore, Lynne Hughes, Irene Saunders
Photography and video: Amit Padhiar - Barnardos Australia, Gilles Delvaux - Barnardos Australia (intern)
Production: Barnardos Australia - Brand and Reputation Team
Media Agency: IKON Communications (Pro-bono) - Stephanie Coyle
(This article was first published in Campaign Brief on 14 October, 2014)