No One Likes the Streets

Unhoused Teens Become Influencers in Campaign from Daughter and Safe Haven Foundation

September 10, 2021

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In a Harris Poll/LEGO survey that covered the United States, Britain and China, 29% of children aged 8-12 stated they wanted to be a “YouTuber” or, in other words, an influencer. This was three times as many who wanted to be an astronaut, that staple of stargazing youths. Unsurprisingly, none of them said they wanted to participate in that other form of stargazing rough sleeping.

However, that is a very real reality for the at least 35,000-40,000 youth experiencing homelessness across Canada. In Calgary, more than 250 youth will find themselves without a place to call home. When you are striving for survival, likes and subscribes are the last thing on your mind, you are robbed of your teenage years. Safe Haven Foundation, a non-profit that offers safe housing for young women, wanted to remind Calgarians of a reality many of them do not know exist.

Pairing with Calgary-based agency Daughter, Safe Haven Foundation decided to harness the ever-present power of social to highlight the ever-present realities facing unhoused youth. Their “StreetFluencer” campaign does exactly that. The campaign includes a 60 second TV spot entitled “Bedtime Routine,” parodying a YouTube influencer video, but from the POV of a homeless teen girl, who’s providing tips for sleeping on the street. Out-of-home digital billboards showcase youth in Instagram-esque shots paired with evocative headlines. While a citywide guerrilla stunt draws attention to where some 250 Calgary youth rest their heads each night; using familiar bedroom signs in unfamiliar settings, to make a poignant point. All to communicate a simple message: Help teens stay teens.

You can find out more about the campaign by visiting safehavenfoundation.ca 

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