The Homestead is a House of Cards, Say Radiohead and Shelter


Two days ago we mentioned Radiohead was donating one of its songs to a homeless shelter. Last night we got the footage.

The song is Videotape from In Rainbows, but the ad itself is called "House of Cards" -- the name of another In Rainbows track. Only the melody is used, adding an urgent tempo to a panning shot of a city, where a number of homes and skyscrapers are composed of cards that slowly begin to plummet.

The institution, Shelter, wraps up by saying an estimated 75,000 homes will be repossessed this year. Website imagery ties unostentatiously back to the ad.

Provocative, visually interesting, not too pushy. Good stuff by Leo Burnett. Other pro bono mentionables include Dom and Nic from Outsider, which shot the ad; Framestore for post-production; and actress Samantha Morton, who did the voiceover at the end and has apparently also been homeless.

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A beautiful piece of art no dobut, as many pro bono and cause-oriented advertising spots are these days. But how does the piece make you feel?

Consider this, is a high-art apocalyptic tableau narrative become a real driver and motivator for giving?

Does the same work for selling shoes and handbags? So why would it apply in selling a cause?

While the form might be genius, the content needs a better story.

Michael Margolis

Posted by: Michael Margolis on February 12, 2009 10:29 PM

Neither giving nor buying should be done on an impulse. Seduction into either should take time and thought...

Posted by: Angela on February 14, 2009 7:45 AM