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In Someone Else’s Shoes

In Someone Else’s Shoes

Michael Carnevale

Michael Carnevale

January 7, 2019

Arnold’s effort to reshape perceptions about homelessness through a modern medium.

"We wanted to build a platform in which we could tell many more stories of understanding and respect."

Sam Mullins, Vice President and Creative Director at Arnold, sits down to talk about Arnold’s emotionally powerful augmented reality (AR) campaign for Santander Bank and the nonprofit Heading Home.

 

Give us some details about the nonprofit Heading Home.

Heading Home is a very cool nonprofit organization dedicated to ending homelessness in Greater Boston by providing emergency and support services as well as transitional and permanent housing to low-income homeless and formerly homeless individuals and families.

So, why did Santander Bank decide to connect with this particular organization?

Santander believes in helping the communities where they’re located. So, the charitable partner needed to be within their branch footprint. It was also important to have the viewers see the issue as a local one. But even more, the folks at Heading Home were an invaluable resource as we crafted the narrative for Jen—the character’s name. Her story had to be an authentic one, and they were a huge help in getting us there. Ultimately, Jen is really the culmination of several real Heading Home client stories.

As your team researched this topic, what were some of the more surprising findings that you uncovered?

The nugget that made us all perk up was our discovery that 25% of the homeless population is employed—25%!!! That’s an astonishing figure and one that became our key insight for this project. Another impressive finding, albeit more technical, was recognizing the storytelling possibilities of AR through volumetric capture. The tech nerd in me got very excited about this.

"Compassion is a universal emotion, so we feel there’s something in this story for everyone."

Why did the team decide to use both AR and film for this campaign?

We knew we had to put the viewers into Jen’s shoes in a unique and powerful way. While we looked at many other mediums, we kept coming back to AR for its accessibility and technological wow factor. Although the technology has been around for some time, we felt the storytelling potential was relatively untapped. So, it became a natural fit for this project.

In Someone Else’s Shoes is extremely emotional for everyone. Who is this spot speaking to?

Compassion is a universal emotion, so we feel there’s something in this story for everyone. Unlike the typical ad, there really isn’t any target audience. We’ve had people from all walks of life visit the experience and hearing their different perspectives has been fascinating. Shockingly enough, we even had one employed homeless nurse stumble upon it, which was an incredible moment.

Walk us through your initial brainstorming sessions and the message you wanted to convey.

Respect is such a broad notion, so we had to drill deeper, which led us to create a platform of understanding. That’s really when this project took off. In Someone Else’s Shoes isn’t just about the employed homeless. We wanted to build a platform in which we could tell many more stories of understanding and respect.

"We wanted to build a platform in which we could tell many more stories of understanding and respect."

Sam Mullins, Vice President and Creative Director at Arnold, sits down to talk about Arnold’s emotionally powerful augmented reality (AR) campaign for Santander Bank and the nonprofit Heading Home.

 

Give us some details about the nonprofit Heading Home.

Heading Home is a very cool nonprofit organization dedicated to ending homelessness in Greater Boston by providing emergency and support services as well as transitional and permanent housing to low-income homeless and formerly homeless individuals and families.

So, why did Santander Bank decide to connect with this particular organization?

Santander believes in helping the communities where they’re located. So, the charitable partner needed to be within their branch footprint. It was also important to have the viewers see the issue as a local one. But even more, the folks at Heading Home were an invaluable resource as we crafted the narrative for Jen—the character’s name. Her story had to be an authentic one, and they were a huge help in getting us there. Ultimately, Jen is really the culmination of several real Heading Home client stories.

As your team researched this topic, what were some of the more surprising findings that you uncovered?

The nugget that made us all perk up was our discovery that 25% of the homeless population is employed—25%!!! That’s an astonishing figure and one that became our key insight for this project. Another impressive finding, albeit more technical, was recognizing the storytelling possibilities of AR through volumetric capture. The tech nerd in me got very excited about this.

"Compassion is a universal emotion, so we feel there’s something in this story for everyone."

Why did the team decide to use both AR and film for this campaign?

We knew we had to put the viewers into Jen’s shoes in a unique and powerful way. While we looked at many other mediums, we kept coming back to AR for its accessibility and technological wow factor. Although the technology has been around for some time, we felt the storytelling potential was relatively untapped. So, it became a natural fit for this project.

In Someone Else’s Shoes is extremely emotional for everyone. Who is this spot speaking to?

Compassion is a universal emotion, so we feel there’s something in this story for everyone. Unlike the typical ad, there really isn’t any target audience. We’ve had people from all walks of life visit the experience and hearing their different perspectives has been fascinating. Shockingly enough, we even had one employed homeless nurse stumble upon it, which was an incredible moment.

Walk us through your initial brainstorming sessions and the message you wanted to convey.

Respect is such a broad notion, so we had to drill deeper, which led us to create a platform of understanding. That’s really when this project took off. In Someone Else’s Shoes isn’t just about the employed homeless. We wanted to build a platform in which we could tell many more stories of understanding and respect.

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