Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

These statement posters raised public awareness about youth homelessness. Here’s how! [Thursday: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]

December 7, 2023

Miles Everson’s The Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more. 

A Note from Miles Everson:


Are you looking for a cool, engaging, and innovative way to connect with your target audience?

Try guerrilla marketing! This approach enables marketers to come up with campaigns that are cost-effective, simple to execute, and leave a strong impression on the target audience. 

Today, let’s talk about a guerrilla marketing campaign conducted for a charitable purpose.

Read the article below to know how a non-profit organization brilliantly used statement posters to convey an important message.

Miles Everson
CEO, MBO Partners
Chairman of the Advisory Board, The I Institute

Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing 

Nowadays, charities are raising awareness for their causes through email campaigns, content marketing, search engine optimization, and social media engagement. These are the typical tools and platforms they use to reach their target audience. 

… but did you know that in 2012, a Canadian non-profit organization went a step further by launching an impactful guerrilla marketing campaign? 

This campaign aimed to raise awareness about the complex issue of youth homelessness.

The name of this non-profit? 

Raising The Roof!

Photo from Focused Creative

In 2012, youth homelessness in Canada was identified as a “widespread social issue of growing concern.” In fact, it was found that 1 in every 5 young people aged 16 to 24 were homeless in the country. 

As an organization that aims to address the problem of youth homelessness in Canada, Raising The Roof came up with a way to raise public awareness about the issue and inspire collective action.

To do this, the charity joined forces with Leo Burnett Toronto, an advertising agency, to execute a clever and cost-effective guerrilla marketing campaign.

This initiative was called “Nothing But Potential” and involved putting up statement posters in the streets of Canada.

Photo from The One Club for Creativity

Raising The Roof’s campaign had significant aspects that set it apart from other initiatives. First was the thought-provoking message that can be seen in the image below:

Photo from The One Club for Creativity

As you can see, the statement in the poster conveyed a simple yet powerful message to the public: Youth homelessness was a concerning issue that needed more attention.

Next was the location. The posters were strategically placed in spots where a homeless person was frequently sitting or sleeping.

Through this clever placement, individuals who came across these posters visualized a homeless person in their minds.

Photo from Grassroots Advertising

… and because of the poster’s powerful message and strategic placement, the “Nothing but Potential” campaign stirred empathy towards the issue of youth homelessness, motivating 65,000 people in Canada to donate to Raising The Roof. 

Aside from this result, the charity’s guerrilla marketing campaign received the following accolades:

  • The One Show 2012 – Design:
    • Silver Pencil Awards for Public Service/Outdoor and Posters – Campaign Category
    • Merit Award for Public Service/Outdoor and Posters – Single Category
  • The One Show 2012 – Advertising:
    • Bronze Pencil Awards for Public Service/Outdoor and Posters – Single Category
    • Merit Award for Public Service/Outdoor and Posters – Single Category
  • 90th Marketing Awards in Toronto, Canada:
    • Gold and Silver awards for Public Service Press/Out of Home Single Category

Clearly, these results show the campaign was effective in moving the hearts and minds of those who saw the statement posters on the streets of Canada. 

A round of applause to the individuals behind this simple, cost-effective, and meaningful marketing campaign!

It’s no surprise that marketers frequently encounter the challenge of finding creative means to capture their audience’s attention. The non-profit organization triumphed over this daunting task by coming up with a creative and striking way to promote and champion its advocacy to the public.

By doing so, Raising The Roof was able to raise the issue of youth homelessness while receiving donations for charitable projects.

Additionally, the posters weren’t just a marketing trick; they were powerful symbols illustrating the potential for positive change when society unites to address pressing issues involving the youth.

We hope today’s article has provided you with inspiration on how to conduct your next guerrilla marketing campaign!

(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.) 

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Thursdays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing”

Jay Conrad Levinson (1984) said that Guerrilla Marketing “works because it’s simple to appreciate, easy to execute, and inexpensive.”

Guerrilla Marketing is unconventional.

Looking beyond the traditional ways of advertising, marketers, and advertisers need to spice things up in order for their brand to have campaigns that not only make an impact but also stick to their target market’s mind.

Guerrilla Marketing usually aims to have direct contact with consumers.

This type of direct contact should spark an emotional reaction that leads to consumers effectively remembering the brand.

It’s about making a big impression and making that impression last a long time (if not forever).

Guerrilla Marketing can be inexpensive.

The effect of this is being able to create a buzz around the brand, and the strategy used to market it. Almost everything is passed around through word-of-mouth.

Word-of-mouth is one of the greatest outcomes and it usually doesn’t cost anything.

This is every business’ or brand’s dream!

Every Thursday, we publish tips, examples, and other useful content on unconventional ways of marketing and promotion.

Learn more about how to grab your target market’s attention and make an amazing first and lasting impression without having to spend a lot of money.

Businesses don’t really need to spend much for a guerrilla campaign. You do not need a big budget to be successful. You just need creativity and a good imagination.

Hope you’ve found this week’s guerrilla marketing insight interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Thursday’s Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing!


Kyle Yu 
Head of Marketing 
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities

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