Case study

Scott Mission

2022 Christmas & Thanksgiving Campaign

A non-denominational Christian charity with a mission to serve the needs of the community, Scott Mission has a variety of programs that offer support and provisions for the homeless, low-income families, and children and youth. From childcare and food banks to a safe place to sleep, Scott Mission plays an integral role in supporting Toronto’s community.

The Campaign

From words to impact: How Scott Mission used communications to feed more people


Scott Mission’s year-end campaign, aimed at drumming up support for their mission, proved that effective communications can inspire action.

57% more impressions
259% surge in YouTube Ad views
416% spike in social media post impressions

These outstanding results weren’t simply a stroke of luck or the product of business as usual. This was about Scott Mission stepping outside of their comfort zone to tell their story in a way that matters, in a way that inspires action. Their campaign became a blueprint for future fundraising efforts: tell forward-moving stories that show donors exactly how their support can directly impact an entire community.

The Challenge

Scott Mission had undergone a major rebrand, and they came to Phil ready to saturate the upcoming campaign with a new look.

Their organization was also at a communications tipping point: they wanted to rewrite the narrative around poverty from pity messaging to empowered storytelling. They wanted to shout it from the rooftops: it is possible to maneuver through a difficult socio economic situation if you have the right tools and a compassionate support system, like Scott Mission, by your side.

Once they decided how to share the message—on buses, bus stops, in newspapers, and on social media—it was Phil’s turn to come up with the strategy and overall look and feel of the campaign.

We started with the most important step: identify who we want our message to speak to. In order to reach our target audience, adults aged 35 and older (with a skew towards women), we went with bold messaging and eye-catching visuals. We anticipated this audience would closely empathize with a mother and her child, so Scott Mission asked a consenting family – one who had used Scott Mission’s services in the past – to take part in a photoshoot.

Phil then crafted the bold tagline “Hunger is not a choice, giving is”. Using such frank messaging coupled with the image of a hungry mother and her child immediately caught the attention of our target audience. It made it hard for them to turn away; the campaign made them feel the need to help. Another plus of the campaign is that Scott Mission will be able to reuse or adapt the tagline “Hunger is not a choice, giving is” for upcoming year-end campaigns, building brand awareness for their mission and multiplying engagement each year.

The Nationalpost.com ad delivered over 2.8 million impressions!
The Toronto Star ad delivered 57.9 million target audience impressions not to mention they were long-lasting: 47% of Saturday Star readers recalled seeing Scott Mission’s ad.

Newspaper ads

Youtube video

To complement the static images, Phil also provided artistic direction for a YouTube video. Our overall strategy was to face the public with an undeniable, resonating fact: We all need food, and end-of-year celebrations bring that need to the forefront.

Subway & Bus posters

The results

Phil is proud to have worked alongside Scott Mission on this campaign. Together we learned to take risks and commit to producing braver, more impactful communications, and the results show it:

Donation revenue increased in December 2022
The ads we created together complemented their other typical fundraising efforts, like direct mail and e-blasts.

Starting with strategy paid off
We were so proud to see such a fruitful campaign come to life, providing an opportunity to repurpose the messaging for holiday campaigns down the line (if it’s not broken, don’t fix it!). This provides cost savings to the organization; they do not have to reinvest in new creative every year.

Experiment with creative communications and the data doesn’t lie
People are drawn to hope-infused stories above harmful pity narratives. Show people how to take action that directly, and positively affects their community, and they will do it. People hold relatable stories close to their hearts, and feelings drive action.

Scott Mission’s powerful campaign proves that when we feed hearts with hope and pointed action, we can truly feed more people in need.


Visit scottmission.com for resources, information, and more.