Publicis London launches iHobo app to raise homeless awareness

LONDON - iPhone users can download their own homeless person with a new app called iHobo.

IHobo: app is aimed at young, affluent donors
IHobo: app is aimed at young, affluent donors

iPhone users get to make decisions impacting the virtual homeless person’s life, such as offering food, money or emotional support, and alerts are sent to notify the user when the iHobo needs help.

The app, made by Publicis London for the homeless charity Depaul UK, makes the point that homeless people are not hobos and the user is invited to make a donation.

It features interactive live action video footage, the first app to do so, according to Publicis.

The name 'iHobo' was chosen in order to question the labels that are placed upon young homeless people and the misconceptions that surround them, the agency said.

Tom Ewart and Adam Kean, joint executive creative directors, Public London, said: "We wanted to reach that elusive generation of young, affluent donors who tend to exist in a world defined by their mobiles.

"It’s been a complicated process getting interactive live footage, but doing something that’s never been done before was never going to be easy."