Relating to the struggles of the homeless is no easy task. Fiftyfifty is a Germany-based publication that is focused on doing exactly that.
In a recent awareness tactic titled Frozen Cinema they tricked unsuspecting moviegoers into feeling what it’s like to be homeless during the winter. The air conditioning in the movie theater was cranked down to freezing levels, making the movie goers physically experience cold temperatures the homeless face on a regular basis. As each visitor scrambled to cover themselves with a blanket, a short documentary would begin to play explaining what the customer is experiencing. The ad also called attention to the fact that each blanket has a QR code that enables visitors to donate to the cause directly from their seats.
This is not their first foray into disruptive, guerilla advertising. Last year, they launched a street campaign titled Invisible Man which played on how homeless people often feel that people see right through them. As the video below shows, they set-up a camera behind a standing homeless person selling a copy of Fiftyfifty. Capturing the view behind him enabled them to project a live video on his body so that he appeared invisible.
Both of these mediagenic tactics reveal how little can be spent to capture the attention of mainstream media and create awareness around an issue. In Frozen Cinema Fiftyfifty is stepping up to create a more holistic way of creating audience interaction. Shock value aside, we appreciate how the onscreen video both conveyed the emotional experience of homelessness, creating a context where moviegoers would feel compelled to donate through the QR-coded blankets.