O&M unveils latest Samaritans work

Ogilvy & Mather's latest work for The Samaritans, to support the charity's national fundraising week, concentrates on the diversity of the problems it has to deal with.

A series of press ads cover a range of calls that a Samaritans volunteer might find themselves responding to. These include a caller who has just lost her husband in a car accident to a man who has just raped his daughter.

The ads show the skills and qualities a Samaritans volunteer needs to deal with them and challenges the reader by asking if they have what it takes to do the job. If not, then they are asked to donate some money to those who can.

The press ads are augmented by 48- and six-sheet posters which have been designed to increase the visibility of The Samaritans brand on the streets where the fundraising will occur.

The poster ad is of the palm of a hand with the lifeline made up of a telephone cord. The campaign aims to give further credibility to the people on the streets who are asking for donations.

Mark Fairbanks wrote the press ads, which were art directed by Steve Dunn, while the poster ad was written by Peter Reid and Carl Broadhurst and art directed by Paul Burch. The media, which has been donated for free, is handled by MindShare.

The Samaritans' national fundraising week runs from 18 to 25 May.

The new work contrasts with The Samaritans' Christmas campaign of last year, which emphasised the charity's core expertise in listening sympathetically to people's problems, but used humour in an attempt to break the mould of charity advertising.

The ads showed situations of Samaritans volunteers attempting, but failing, to raise funds for the charity, ending with the line: "We're better at listening than raising money. Please donate."