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Giving back with Sancho BBDO's Clothes for Food - #BehindTheIdea

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It is always fascinating and extremely heart-warming to see an agency do some pro-bono work for the social good. Sancho BBDO did this for a small NGO in its pool of massive accounts, and we couldn't be more intrigued by how the whole story came into being.

It was all born out of an extremely simple concept, one that directors later shaped into a fully-fleshed idea: using known brand logos to craft a pro-bono campaign and keep a shelter going, even through the harsh times of the pandemic.

Today we are getting Behind the Idea to learn more about this lovely pro-bono campaign by Sancho BBDO, and how it turned an extremely simple concept into an incredibly powerful print project.

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What was the brief?

As many agencies around the world interested in giving something back to their home country, SANCHO BBDO has small NGOs inside of his pool of massive accounts. In this case in particular, Fundación Hogar De La Divina Misericordia was a small community shelter sustained mainly by donations. Due to the low income per capita in our country they had to become “real creative” and diversify their income streams to maintain their operation (sustaining +400 children and elderly residents under their roof). 

Sancho’s motto is “Ideas que le importan a la gente” - “Create ideas relevant to people.” And we found out in this brief something deeply personal and relevant: giving people in need our time so they could have a roof and a hot meal.

How did the initial pitch/brainstorming phase go?

The brief was pretty tactical, we had to create posters to encourage people to bring old clothes to their HR department. But after we gave it some thought, we found out that by increasing the value of each piece, we could also increase their monthly income with fewer “flips”. So, the project became more interesting when we decided to use recognized brands somehow, it was a resource that became a must at the start of the project. 

Again, the brief as delivered was pretty tactical, but Alberto @buentypo and Juan Aponte, our extremely experienced creative directors, always encourage us to create pieces we will be proud to show once they go live. They want to transform each brief into a “I did that” moment, and this mindset makes daily work far more enjoyable. This usually results in two proposals, the tactical ad the brief asked for and our interpretation of it. Wilson, the team’s art director, dropped the first pin when he mentioned he created his own clothing designs using national slang and printing it with some pop art known elements a few years ago. This ignited the conversation for hours until the north was clear. We just had to find the right matches…

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Tell us more about the concept. How did it come to life, and why was it the right choice?

We just felt it was right after trying different wordings. The creative team has such a unique way to work, Esteban, the copywriter, is always sharing with his partner high-level product design, art direction and manufacturing references, and Wilson, the team’s art director, is always pushing for condensed and meaningful concepts for each piece, just like analyzing the lyrics of one of his favorite songs. 

In this case, we had to be extremely direct but using emotion as a powerful driving tool. Our directors did the final move by sharpening the outcome and as result, we had such a condensed concept by using just a few words and aesthetic elements (Clothes for Food), a piece as simple as it can possibly be… almost stupid simple. 

What was the production process like? What was the biggest challenge?

First, the client was used to less abstract and direct pieces, so we had to ask support, bigger muscles to push us to the finish line. That’s where the ECD came into place and helped us upgrade the pieces by giving us their honest feedback and believing in them enough not to let them die on a PowerPoint presentation. Second, as a pro bono account, time management was key, using our free time to polish the piece while taking care of our high-demand daily work.

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What is one funny or notable thing that happened during the production of the campaign?

We call them the resurrection prints; they died and came back to life every week. Our directors and executive creative directors, Mario Lagos and Sergio León, managed to CPR the sh** out of them.

Also, we never expected the amount of PR they are getting, it seems that simple is the new cool and the message really resonated with people. 

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What’s the main message of the campaign and why does it matter?

In an era of massive consumption, we all have a fair amount of clothes stashed in our wardrobes we don’t even look at. We believe the message resonated with people because it reminded us how comfortable we are and those things, those possessions we give for granted, could actually be transformed into something as basic as first-hand grocery products. It’s a reminder of minimalism and that everything extra we carry could be missing somewhere or by someone else. 

What is one unique aspect of the campaign?

Its simplicity and something we enjoyed doing as a team.

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How long did it take from inception to delivery?

Surprisingly way too long. Pushing them live took around +4 months.

What do you hope it achieves for the brand?

  • Get one step closer to make help fashionable. 
  • Help our client in a meaningful and effective way, and show them that “donation ads” could be so much more. They could be “I did that" moments. Their work is so selfless, so personal and they deserve the highest possible quality they can get. 
  • Push sustainable shopping and second-hand use of all sorts of elements. 
  • Be part of making someone’s day better. We can only imagine what it’s like to lose all hope and then feel welcome and taken care of.

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Credit list for the campaign?

Agency: Sancho BBDO 

Client: Fundación Hogar de la Divina Misericordia 
Creative VP: Mario Lagos, Sergio León, Giovanni Martínez, Hugo Corredor. 

Chief Creative Directors: Daniel Álvarez, Diego Contreras.  
Creative Directors: Alberto Morales (Buentypo), Juan Aponte 
Art Directors: Wilson René Valero 
Copywriter: Esteban Henao 

Account manager: Rodrigo Morales
Project Managers: Kattalina Espinel, Diana Vélez.

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