Painting the City Purple with Philly House  | Slice Experimentation Series

By: Sara McGovern

Experimentation in marketing couldn’t be more important! If you want to get attention, you have to stand out from the crowd. To get a new reaction from your audience, you have to surprise them with an approach designed to elicit a different response.

Slice Communications embraces a philosophy of innovation and openness to new ideas that we call “Yes, And… Energy.” 

Inspired by a common trope in the improv comedy world, “Yes, And…” is a cooperative approach to creative iteration that allows for a constant stream of new ideas that are built and shaped by all involved to reach a satisfying conclusion. We embody this core value in all aspects of our work, as it dovetails nicely with our others: co-pilot energy, goal-oriented focus, and always learning.

Working together with clients and with each other in a spirit of positivity can lead to great – and surprising – results!

When Philadelphia’s oldest homeless shelter rebranded from Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission to Philly House, we knew we wanted to do something big to bring awareness to their rebrand and, more importantly, to bring awareness to the problem of homelessness in our city. 

It was important to do something that involved the entire city. Founded by John Wanamaker in 1878,  Philly House has been serving Philadelphia’s hungry, hurting, and homeless ever since. Philly House is the only shelter in the city that serves three meals a day, 365 days a year, to anyone who walks through their door – or about 8,000 meals per month.

In 2023, they sheltered 1,753 unique men experiencing homelessness. Combining twenty-first-century best practices with Christian compassion, Philly House empowers everyone they serve through trauma-informed care, a model emphasizing more holistic, relational, long-term solutions.

We wanted to bring awareness to Philly House’s rebrand and let the city know that the values and mission they associated with Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission were still at the organization’s core. We also wanted people to think about their unhoused neighbors as the days got shorter and the temperatures got colder, and encourage people to volunteer with or donate to Philly House. 

We aimed to get the attention of as many Philadelphians as possible, so we looked to the skyline. Working with Philly House, we organized a city-wide observation to increase awareness of homelessness and opportunities to reduce it in the city.

On November 17th, organizations across Philadelphia came together to participate in the first-ever “Purple Out” campaign – purple being the color of homelessness awareness – by turning their exterior lights purple.

To observe “Purple Out,” One and Two Liberty Place, the PECO Crown Lights, Brandywine Realty, and the Pennsylvania Convention Center illuminated their buildings and the skyline in purple.

Mayor Jim Kenney proclaimed November 17th Philly House Day to celebrate the shelter’s contributions to the city and raise awareness about homelessness. Slice’s corresponding social media campaign engaged people throughout the city who showed their support by putting a purple filter over their profile photos.

The “Purple Out” campaign recently got the attention of the Public Relations Society of America’s Philadelphia Chapter, where Philly House and the campaign were awarded a Pepperpot Ladle for non-profit content marketing.

We were thrilled with this recognition, but even more excited to make an impact for Philly House. 

We’re honored every day to work alongside the dedicated team at Philly House and see first-hand the hope they provide to so many.

To learn how you can join their efforts, visit their website! 

Let’s embrace a spirit of innovation together and make a commitment to surprise and delight in our marketing.

Contact Slice and we can work together to identify creative twists that will add fresh energy to even your regular communications!

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