Agency Pays Homless People to Promote Itself

homeless_agency_promotion.jpg

While it's been by other companies for other purposes, GoGORILLA Media, a New York based guerrilla marketing firm, has been employing homeless people in an effort to promote its services to advertising agencies. Several homeless men and women have been spotted outside New York advertising agencies holding a hand-scribbled sign which explains their plight. Right next to the sign is a box full of GoGORILLA brochures. While one would wish there to be no homeless people in the world, one hopes, for GoGORRILLA's reputation, these sign holders really are homeless and not paid interns made to look homeless.

GoGORILLA President Alan Wolan explains, "Sure, it may be a bit self serving, but putting money in the pockets of the homeless is nothing to be ashamed of. This is a socially responsible campaign which allows us to reach key media personnel in a thoroughly unique and effective manner."

The sign reads: "I used to be a media planner at a NYC ad agency but I got fired! Why? Because our client wanted an alternative media campaign and instead of hiring GoGORILLA Media, I went with another vendor, and boy was I sorry! I haven't had a job since. Don't let this happen to you! Feel free to take a GoGORILLA Media Kit, there's no charge. Of course, any donations, no matter how small, are greatly appreciated. Have a nice day and God bless."

by Steve Hall    Jul- 1-05   Click to Comment   
Topic: Guerilla   

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Comments



Comments

re: "one hopes, for GoGORRILLA's reputation, these sign holders really are homeless and not paid interns made to look homeless."

Seriously, the guy in the linked picture does not look to be the homeless type. Dirty shirt perhaps but otherwise unweathered and clean cut.

Posted by: Shimone on July 1, 2005 8:29 PM

Ooo! Tough call on this one. Are they being socially responsible? Well, possibly more than most advertisers but we're riding the rim of the drain here.

Cost of some bimbo having Golden Palace tattooed on her forehead = $10 000
Cost of a homeless person to hold up a GoGORRILLA sign = some pocket change and a beer

I don't know. It seems pretty skeezy. They didn't even have to pay a designer to design that sign. Just a copywriter and an old box. I think that's a HUGE descriptor of what they paid this guy -- that is, if he's really homeless. It could be worse; he might be an intern.

Posted by: Paolo on July 2, 2005 8:59 AM

ah, this so cute. could have fooled me, advertising that doesn't look like advertiisng alwayas makes me smile. lol. thanks to adrants and gogorlla for the smiles. most cost effective creative of year nomination inevitable. bravo.

Posted by: Digidaddy on July 2, 2005 10:52 AM

That guy is totally an intern.

Posted by: Phill on July 2, 2005 5:18 PM

This guy looks totally NOT like a bum. First of all his shirt is wayyy too trashed to be a real homeless person. It's ironic, yes, but it really looks like they tried too hard to make him appear homeless. Even homeless people have a couple different shirts in their shopping cart or in their box by the dumpster.

Posted by: guillermo echevarria on July 3, 2005 3:03 PM

Whoa - now THAT'S creativity at its best. I know, I know - a smidgen of me feels kind of sleazy for even chuckling at this stunt, but you've got to admit, it's very over the top just in the ingeni uness alone, so it bears some elements of positive merits. What's more, GOgorilla allowed the panhandlers to retain their own begging rights along with passing out their brochures. You could say they were making "double-time" wages! You never know, someone could approach that hapless homeless denizen and offer them a job just because they caught the right person's eye. My hat's off to 'em!

Posted by: Lily H. on July 3, 2005 6:50 PM

Uh, how about how it demeans the guy's real circumstances? Sure, if they give him $10, he's probably not in a position to make a moral judgment about what his dignity is worth. But odds are much better than he's living on the street not because his client hired a hip ad agency but because his mom burned him with a curling iron while his step-dad diddled him for years throughout his childhood till the only solace he could find was huffing paint fumes till he learned about crack. It's definitely in bad taste.

Posted by: Rick Bruner on July 4, 2005 11:02 AM

I agree with Rick that - yuk - this is in extremely poor taste. Really bad; and while it's gotten attention...not so hot for branding, unless you're targeting frat guys. It demeans homelessness and exploits homeless people.

And I'm with Phill and Shimone - this guy is an intern.

Which really makes the whole thing even yukkier.

Posted by: Aimee on July 5, 2005 12:12 PM

Hate to be the outraged liberal here, but seriously folks, this is disgusting. I have a sense of humor and might be able appreciate this as a cartoon, but not in the flesh outside my door (i am a media planner). GoGorilla is calling this a socially responsible campaign - how the hell do they figure that?

Sorry to say, I'm even more disgusted by the comments from readers. His shirt is too trashed to be a real bum? He's probably homeless because a big company like GM laid him off so they can pump more money into their advertising budget...

-h

Posted by: heather on July 6, 2005 12:32 PM

Advertising knows no shame.

Posted by: everysandwich [TypeKey Profile Page] on July 6, 2005 7:56 PM

They can take that socially responsible view and shove it up there arse...How about they tell you how much they paid the guy...a Big Mac meal? I bet they didn't even super size it!

None the less..too many words on the sign. I got bored just reading the transcript of the sign on adrants. That copywriter should be fired. Honestly, your walking to work in NY and your going to stop to read a homeless guy's long manifesto...I don't think so

Posted by: Ehh.. on July 7, 2005 1:45 PM

I personally like the idea of helping the homeless - in anyway a company or individual can. I respect GoGorilla for even attempting this. Hat's off to them. FYI - I hve designed a similar concept except we GIVE AWAY an "emergency sleeping unit" called a SHELTERPOD (see - http://www.venturexpo.com/shelterpod.html ) . The SHELTERPOD concept also has changable billboards on the side, and advertisers can "sponsor" a single person or group of homeless people and pay them monthly -rather than a government program. Looking for partners to help me build the units and launch it.

Posted by: richard Royce on July 9, 2005 7:09 PM

I don't think there is anything wrong with hiring homeless people to advertise on the street if that is what that homeless person choses to do. I would prefer to see the business give the person a new wardrobe of clothes to wear and some food, maybe even rent a cheap hotel room for the person so they have a place to sleep (once they get their pay, they can maintain their own rent).

I have been homeless a few times after open ehart surgery, see my Homeless Search Engine on
http://www.SpareSomeChange.com

Posted by: WHAK'd on September 25, 2005 1:27 AM

This is awesome..If only the kid in the picture were truly "homeless". Would that box be in a bonfire for heat in the winter or would the intern tough it out for an ad job..I think it's a toss-up!!

I love the idea!! Bring the concept to Gainesville,Fl, we love our homeless by giving them a grand meeting place right in the downtown area. Free meals and entertainment included at taxpayer expense to boot.

Posted by: SFOD_D223 on June 10, 2006 1:20 PM

Not that anyone is going to read this, as it is 2 years after the fact...I am that guy. My cousin was looking up homeless images for his halloween costume and stumbled upon this. I am/was not an intern, I am/was a paid actor. Scheazy, yes... Brilliant, Id say yes as well. It caught many peoples attention, regardless as to the length of the sign. The rip was definitely WAY overboard, I thought the same thing myself, but the VP did it, so what could I say. And yes, I was offered numerous jobs, and received over a hundred dollars in donations... Which I ended up donating to the homeless coalition. So, all in all, I say it worked out pretty well for the homeless. Regardless, it was a fun eye-opening experience.

Posted by: chris george on October 23, 2007 9:24 PM

Not that anyone is going to read this, as it is 2 years after the fact...I am that guy. My cousin was looking up homeless images for his halloween costume and stumbled upon this. I am/was not an intern, I am/was a paid actor. Scheazy, yes... Brilliant, Id say yes as well. It caught many peoples attention, regardless as to the length of the sign. The rip was definitely WAY overboard, I thought the same thing myself, but the VP did it, so what could I say. And yes, I was offered numerous jobs, and received over a hundred dollars in donations... Which I ended up donating to the homeless coalition. So, all in all, I say it worked out pretty well for the homeless. Regardless, it was a fun eye-opening experience.

Posted by: chris george on October 23, 2007 9:25 PM

Not that anyone is going to read this, as it is 2 years after the fact...I am that guy. My cousin was looking up homeless images for his halloween costume and stumbled upon this. I am/was not an intern, I am/was a paid actor. Scheazy, yes... Brilliant, Id say yes as well. It caught many peoples attention, regardless as to the length of the sign. The rip was definitely WAY overboard, I thought the same thing myself, but the VP did it, so what could I say. And yes, I was offered numerous jobs, and received over a hundred dollars in donations... Which I ended up donating to the homeless coalition. So, all in all, I say it worked out pretty well for the homeless. Regardless, it was a fun eye-opening experience.

Posted by: chris george on October 23, 2007 9:25 PM

Yes, I did read this.

Posted by: somebody on June 3, 2008 1:45 PM

I like the idea the company is trying to use but if you are going to say it is homeless people why not use a real homeless person.you may think it is know big thing but as a former homeless person with 4 children it is important to see real people that u can relate to.where me and my family live it we had no kind of programs like this and it took us a long time to get help so maybe you or your company could look into expanding or new prorams outside your space.and to the wannabe homeless guy i did read it and u really did sound sincere.thankyou

Posted by: amanda m on June 25, 2009 9:11 AM







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