7 December 2001
An old derelict sits alone in the park. The aura around him is of despair. From afar the sounds of Christmas carols waft on the air. Merry Christmas.
The scene is from a poignant television and print advertisement, which appears for the first time this Sunday. It is designed to remind New Zealanders that for many, Christmas is a time of heightened depression and hopelessness. And the way in which most New Zealanders think of Christmas in the Park is not as it is for everyone.
Conceived by Matt Shirtcliff of Grey Worldwide advertising agency on behalf of the Salvation Army, the advertisement highlights the darker side of the holiday and the need for those who have, to think of those who have not.
The Salvation Army is gearing up – as it does every year – for one of the periods when its help is most visibly in demand.
While Colonel Don Oliver, Salvation Army public relations officer for the northern region, says “need knows no season”, he confirms Christmas is a time when people’s hardship is hardest to bear.
“There are homeless people, people living alone, people in despair, families with no presents for the children, no food on the table.
“It’s our aim to offer hope to these people and practical help in the form of clothing, food and furniture as well as counselling and rehabilitation.”
Last Christmas, the Salvation Army gave out 5000 hampers and 11,500 toys for children. Last year, it delivered 25,000 meals-on-wheels and handed out 32,500 food parcels.
Colonel Oliver hopes the advertisement will prompt people to make donations to help the Salvation Army bring hope to New Zealanders in need this Christmas.
“Grey Worldwide, and the other organisations which have given their time and resources to help us highlight the need, have shown just the kind of spirit that could make this Christmas a better one for so many people.”
Agencies which combined to produce the advertisement include Flying Fish (production), Digitalpost (post production), and Rachael Davies (director). APPRA waived music copyright fees.
People wanting to make donations can call the free phone
(0800 530 000) included on the advertisement.