H&K PSA campaign aids Habitat for Humanity

WASHINGTON: Hill & Knowlton is developing a new PSA campaign, titled ?Recycling for the American Dream,? to raise money for local Habitat for Humanity affiliates.

WASHINGTON: Hill & Knowlton is developing a new PSA campaign, titled ?Recycling for the American Dream,? to raise money for local Habitat for Humanity affiliates.

The PSA, available in both video and audio, seeks to educate the public on easy ways they can aid the nonprofit's mission to improve housing conditions for low-income families.

Since 1998, H&K has been working with the Aluminum Association, which partnered with Habitat on a wide-ranging program called "Cans for Habitat." During the almost eight years of the program, 600 participating Habitat affiliates have recycled about 11.4 million pounds of aluminum, all of which has gone to the construction of 88 houses.

Six H&K staffers spend time on the Cans for Habitat account, working closely with Habitat affiliates to share best practices and streamline internal communications as well as produce an internal newsletter and update the program's website.

The program benefits aluminum producers by encouraging consumers to purchase beverages in cans. Consumers then are asked to recycle the cans at local community recycling centers and donate the money earned to local participating Habitat affiliates or the organization's national headquarters in Americus, GA.

"If every American recycled one can today, 56 Habitat homes could be built tomorrow," said Patrick Kelly, director of public and media relations, for the Aluminum Association.

In 2000-2001, H&K developed the first PSA for the program, a popular spot featuring baseball star Sammy Sosa. "For PSAs, if you have a shelf life beyond a year, you're really lucky," H&K VP Heather McNamara said. "This thing was continuing to get picked up for at least three years."

In 2004, H&K decided to begin creating a new PSA for the campaign. The agency took a paid advertisement developed by Adworks for the Aluminum Association in the late 1990s and removed all the sales elements but kept the recycling and Habitat promotional messages.

"The footage was still all great," McNamara said. "It took an existing thing and revamped it, which was really a cost-effective way."

The approximate cost to re-cut and promote the new PSA was $250,000. In comparison, the Sammy Sosa PSA cost approximately $500K and received an advertising equivalency of more than $8.3 million, she said.

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