$1 Million Advertising Campaign Launches to Support Albuquerque Nonprofit

Assistance League® of Albuquerque’s Program Helps Children Receive an Education

Advocate, a partnership between New Mexico-based advertising and media companies designed to support not-for-profit organizations based in Albuquerque, is launching its “Empty Hanger” advertising campaign today for Assistance League® of Albuquerque.  In April, Advocate selected Assistance League of Albuquerque from 120 applicants to be the recipient of a yearlong unified advertising campaign.

Advocate’s “Empty Hanger” advertising campaign markets Assistance League of Albuquerque’s clothing program, “Operation School Bell®,” to the public through $1 million worth of in-kind advertising, marketing and media services donated by the partnering businesses.   Assistance League of Albuquerque’s clothing program provides uniforms to Albuquerque Public School (APS) students and has clothed more than 18,000 students since the program began.  “We developed the campaign for ‘Operation School Bell’ because it supports education and families in need,” said Del Esparza, president of Esparza Advertising and founder of Advocate.  “It is the goal of our ‘Empty Hanger’ campaign to solicit community support and increase the amount of school children clothed by the program.”

Assistance League of Albuquerque’s new campaign includes television, radio, print, and outdoor advertising, and incorporates several non-traditional creative strategies.  “As part of our creative approach, we will be advertising on hangers at local dry cleaners.  As customers pick up their clothes, the message on the front of the hanger will read ‘Why can’t 1 in 8 kids go to school?’  The copy on the back of the hanger explains that more than 10,000 APS students don’t have the appropriate clothing required to attend schools and encourages people to help by going to the web site,” said Esparza. 

Advocate created the web site www.emptyhangers.org which invites people to purchase shirts, pants, socks, shoes, or a complete wardrobe for students whose families are unable to afford them.  “We designed a graphical interface of a closet.  Upon entering the web site, the closet doors open and you see an empty closet with hangers.  When people purchase the clothing for the students, they graphically appear in the closet.  We felt it was important for people to see exactly what they are purchasing for the children and how they are helping them get an education,” said Esparza.  The individual clothes range in price between $3 and $20 with a complete wardrobe costing benefactors $50.  A digital outdoor billboard will actually update Albuquerque metropolitan-area residents on the amount of children that still need clothing based on the amount of clothes that have been purchased on the web site. 

“We are thrilled with the advertising campaign Advocate created for us.  We are confident that it will help raise awareness about ‘Operation School Bell’ and help us provide clothing to families of APS students who are in need of assistance,” said Judy Gibbon, president of Assistance League of Albuquerque.

“Nonprofits are the backbone to any community,” Mayor Richard J. Berry said.  “I have been supportive of Advocate since its inception because I believe in the mission of the program.  I encourage our community to rally around the Assistance League of Albuquerque, as all the participating local media has, and give to this needy cause.”

Advocate is a partnership between New Mexico-based advertising and media companies including Esparza Advertising; Citadel Broadcasting Company that operates seven radio stations in Central New Mexico including News Talk 770 KKOB-AM, News Talk 1050 KTBL-AM, Sports Radio 610 KNML-AM, Country 92.3 KRST-FM, Hot AC 93.3 KKOB-FM, Adult Hits 103.3 (Ed) KDRF-FM, and Soft Adult Contemporary 99.5 KMGA-(Magic) FM; Entravision Communications Corporation that operates KLUZ-
TV, KTFQ-TV, KRZY-AM and KRZY-FM; Clear Channel Outdoor; Lin Media Corporation that operates KRQE-TV, KASA-TV, KBIM-TV and KREZ-TV; New Mexico Business Weekly owned by American City Business Journals; and James Korenchen Public Relations.  Advocate selects one not-for-profit organization per year and focuses its efforts on developing a yearlong unified campaign for the charity.

Assistance League of Albuquerque is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization and one of more than 120 chapters and guilds of National Assistance League.  It was founded in Albuquerque in 1962 and develops, funds, and staffs philanthropic programs based on community needs. 

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