The assignment was to solve the hunger epidemic in New York City in one day. No one can accuse the 4A’s of not thinking big enough.
To take a step back, the 4A’s original goal was to engage the next generation of advertising professionals and empower them with the belief that advertising can be used to change the world for the better. A small team of “ADvocates” came up with a one-day, socially-minded think tank called Advertising Doing Something: ReSolve to End Hunger (#ADSReSolve). Member agencies were invited to send their up-and-comers to the event, the outcome of which would be big, new ideas that would help City Harvest, a New York based organization dedicated to feeding the hungry.
Ten teams of twelve spent the first half of the day being educated about hunger, both worldwide and locally in New York. Keynotes were given, there were breakout sessions with industry experts, inspirational leaders and City Harvest representatives. Our task then was to use all of that information to build a strategy to solve for four main problems: increase nutritional IQ, shift public perception, change consumer behavior and increase access to nutritional foods.
Most teams landed on awareness as the silver bullet that would help with all the other problems. There are 2,000,000 hungry people in New York City – that’s one in four New Yorkers – yet the public mostly thinks of hunger as a problem for only the homeless or unemployed. The challenge is to show the face of hunger as neighbors, coworkers and families that are having trouble making ends meet in a city with a high cost of living. Each team had just five minutes to present their ideas to a panel of judges. The winning team’s campaign will be implemented by City Harvest and seen by millions of people worldwide.
Throughout the day a video crew creating a documentary followed the teams and advisors as everyone worked to solve hunger. Stay tuned to 4A’s and City Harvest to see us in action when the video is launched and receive updates on what idea was ultimately selected.