SOURCE: Publicis & Hal Riney

March 06, 2007 11:16 ET

American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter Taps Riney to Get Residents Prepared for Earthquake With New Ad Campaign

Agency Partners With Organization to Launch Powerful Integrated Program

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 6, 2007 -- Publicis & Hal Riney, in partnership with its client, the American Red Cross Bay Area chapter, will launch the first phase of a comprehensive, integrated advertising campaign for the humanitarian organization. The program is part of the organization's "Prepare Bay Area" project and launches today at 10:00 a.m. in San Francisco's Justin Herman Plaza with a press conference and the official unveiling of its mobile billboards. The local chapter's most aggressive to date, the campaign was designed to drive Bay Area residents to immediate action by leveraging a gamut of traditional and nontraditional media, including print, television, radio, out-of-home and online, as well as viral and guerilla marketing tactics.

"The donated time, energy and commitment that the Riney team has unflinchingly provided to the ARCBA has been a major component to this campaign," said ARCBA Chief Executive Officer, Harold W. Brooks. "They've created an edgier, bolder and louder message by adding provocative billboard images, attention-grabbing TV and radio spots, and some innovative street marketing that we hope will motivate people to respond now -- not tomorrow -- to get prepared, and we believe this will be our most effective campaign yet."

Today's event launches the campaign with a press conference and the unveiling of mobile billboards that depict what busy downtown areas might look like after being ravaged by an earthquake. The rolling campaign was built around the tagline "What do we have to do to get your attention?" and takes an aggressive approach to inciting Bay Area residents of all ages to get prepared for the next catastrophic event. Online, guerilla and viral tactics will be launched in the coming weeks, and production on the next phase, including print, television and radio ads, will begin next month. The agency also reached out to contacts across the industry to secure donations of talent and production costs that will make execution of the full campaign possible.

"When we started working on this project, it was unbelievable that all but 6% of those of us living in the Bay Area have managed to stay in a state of denial about the likelihood of a disaster," said Mark Sweeney, Group Creative Director at Riney. "Even more amazing was the fact that the Red Cross had already invested significant time and money, leveraging celebrity support and a ton of free media, to increase preparedness. The idea for this campaign really came out of the disbelief and exasperation resulting from continued denial despite all those efforts."

"Having relocated to the Bay Area from the UK just two years ago, it was clear that my earthquake paranoia was in contrast to my colleagues, who have lived here for years and didn't seem too worried about it," said Dominic Goldman, Creative Director at Riney. "That contrast in attitudes made us realize that we really needed to disrupt all the people who had become indifferent to impending disaster. The client sort of needed to take the gloves off with an idea that would stop people in their tracks and not allow them to take another step without deciding to get prepared."

"We're honored to have been chosen by the American Red Cross to create and execute such an important campaign," said Jon Soto, Executive Creative Director at Riney. "The minute we started on this project, the need to get this message out drew an incredible feeling of responsibility out of everyone involved. It's terrifying that residents are so reluctant to take simple steps in the face of the inevitable, and we're proud of the work we've done to change this behavior."

About Publicis & Hal Riney

Hal Riney is a full-service creative boutique headquartered in San Francisco, wholly owned by Publicis Groupe, the world's fourth-largest communication group. Riney's advertising clients include well-known brands such as Sprint, WellPoint, Wrigley and Pinnacle Foods.

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