EMA and the Food Bank Introduce ‘Fillanthropy’ to Central New York

Eric Mower and Associates has created new ads that are the latest installment of a multi-year regional campaign to help the Food Bank of Central New York continue its mission of fighting hunger through nutritious food distribution, education and advocacy.

Print, radio and TV ads feature the Hunger Bear—a stuffed teddy bear with a hole in its stomach—and tell stories of real people helping to fill the hole left by hunger. These “fillanthropists” are everyday people who have donated money, collected food or volunteered their time to help the Food Bank provide food to hungry families in 11 counties across Central and Northern New York. The campaign’s message is that it doesn’t matter how you give—holding a food drive or donating money—or how much you give—$25 or $25,000; all of it helps the greater cause.

TV and radio spots and print ads are running now to coincide with the Food Bank’s 2010 fundraising campaign kick-off. Check out one of the TV spots here.

“The word philanthropist with a ‘ph’ is usually reserved for people like Bill Gates. But a fillanthropist of the ‘fill’ variety is a title reserved for anyone who helps fill the hole left by hunger,” said Tom Merrick, partner and creative director at EMA. “What we’re doing with the campaign—and what the community is doing in response—is hopeful, positive, and successful.”

EMA introduced the Hunger Bear in November 2008 to build awareness about how people can help the Food Bank fight hunger. Since the campaign launched, the Food Bank has seen a significant increase in traditional donations and online giving. Volunteer applications and the number of companies making corporate donations also continue to increase.

“The Hunger Bear is an amazing success story. Charitable giving has taken such a great hit, but our unique way of telling the Food Bank’s story has really resonated with people. By showing how real people in our community are stepping up to help us in so many different ways is really quite disarming,” said Tom Slater, executive director at the Food Bank of Central New York.

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