Foodbank Bridges the Hunger Divide

[Agency: Red Agency Australia]

Challenge: Hunger in Australia affects about 2 million people every year. Foodbank is the country’s largest hunger relief charity, taking excess food from the food and grocery industry and providing it to more than 2,500 charities, but it has a very limited public profile. The organization wanted to “own a day” to raise awareness of the role it plays in tackling hunger and as an opportunity to begin more proactive consumer and media engagement. Because the budget was zero, our creative also needed to sell industry partners to fund the event.

Actions: Red Agency re-created Sydney’s iconic Harbour Bridge out of food in the shadow of the real thing. The stunt highlighted the need to bridge the increasing gap between the haves and the have-nots. We chose to do this on UN World Food Day because Australia’s biggest hunger charity owning this day is a natural fit and because World Food Day had a very low profile in Australia. We used one food item from each industry partner; after the event, we distributed the food to welfare agencies. Our agency also launched a Foodbank Facebook page to garner support online and enable people to interact with the campaign. Plus, we secured national and UN officials to attend and speak at the event.

Results: Coverage was phenomenal: five TV news features, 20-plus radio interviews, 30-plus newspaper and online articles, and 540 additional pieces of coverage over the subsequent five months. More than 54,000 people saw the bridge in person, and Facebook activity reached 15,000-plus and generated more than 1,300 likes. In total, our campaign reached 12 million people in Australia (over half the population) and 17 million globally over 30 days. Industry partners are more engaged than ever with Foodbank, and nine new partners came on board. And most important, the campaign has put hunger firmly on the political agenda, including an invitation to Foodbank to present to Ministers.