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'4-Star City' campaign on homelessness in Chicago
2017-11-10

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Launching Nov. 10, a new integrated ad campaign seeks to create awareness and empathy for Chicagoans who cope with homelessness while living on the street, according to the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.

Developed pro bono by marketing communications firm MARC USA, the integrated campaign plays on Chicago's popular 4-star city flag. One of the best-known and most visible city flags in the country—found on businesses, front porches, T-shirts, and even tattoos—Chicago's 4-star flag promotes the city's capacity to offer a top quality of life.

The "4-Star City" campaign features 30- and 60-second videos running as broadcast and digital PSAs, with print and outdoor versions.

The main video can be accessed here: youtu.be/Tea-bp6ewxE .

Kicking off at the start of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, the campaign contrasts Chicago neighborhoods that most people would rate "4 stars" with the "half-star rated" viaducts and street corners that serve as home for Chicagoans who live on the street.

Each piece notes Chicago's reputation for hospitality and proclaims: "Let's make Chicago a 4-star city for everyone." The call to action urges support for the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, which employs legal and public policy advocacy to prevent and end homelessness.

Matt Sullivan, SVP, Senior Creative Director at MARC USA, explains the inspiration for the campaign: "You see the 4-star flag flying everywhere in the city. Everyone looks up at it with pride, but few look around to see that for those who are homeless, this really isn't a '4-star' city. We wanted to activate Chicagoans to think about homelessness and support efforts to make a difference… especially as we get closer to winter."

Chicago Coalition for the Homeless Executive Director Doug Schenkelberg adds, "We are so grateful for MARC USA's work to put a face on homelessness in our city and create awareness of our efforts toward long-term change for the more than 80,000 homeless people here."



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