Causes I Care About Campaign – Research and Strategy

Last week, I explained a few of the causes that I was considering for this project, with my top pick being Franklinton Gardens. Although much has happened recently, I'll keep these developments somewhat brief:

Description and Problems

Franklinton Gardens is a local nonprofit that operates a network of community gardens. With the support of donations and volunteers, they grow fresh, organic produce in an area that's devoid of access to such food. The vegetables are then sold on-site and at farmers' markets, or donated to food pantries. In short, their work includes growing healthy food, renewing urban spaces, and promoting an interest in gardening/community involvement.

Although the organization has continued to grow, few people outside of Franklinton know about their work, prompting a need for greater awareness and engagement. There's also a slightly negative perception of Franklinton as a community, so placing greater emphasis on programs like this is crucial.

Target and Strategy

I plan on targeting middle-class individuals that fall under the "reformer" archetype. These people live within the Columbus limits, support local establishments, participate in city events, and search for new ways to be closer to their community. By appealing to their sense of collective "ownership" of the city they admire, I hope to demonstrate that a garden can do so much more than simply grow vegetables; it can strengthen a community, make everything feel a little closer to home, and renew urban spaces. Here are my 3 strategies:


1 – “Local In Every Way”

The cause is local in every sense: the gardens, the volunteers, the produce that’s grown, and the beneficiaries (including the targets themselves).

2 – “More Than Produce”
The community gardens don’t just grow vegetables; they promote healthy, sustainable living, renew neglected urban spaces, and bring people closer together.

3 – “No Green Thumb Required”
Not everyone may be a professional gardener, but that doesn’t mean they can’t learn or donate.

Visual Inspiration and Sketches

Within this strategy, I intend to explore several visual concepts:

1 – An approach that places emphasis on the human elements behind the cause. A pleasant, more subdued with more earthy colors and handmade lettering and illustrations that emphasize the hands that go into the gardens, as well as the organic produce that comes as a result. These would all serve as accents to the photography/video in the campaign. Stylistically, this is probably the most "down-to-earth" tactic:

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2 – A series that utilize textured, graphic illustrations of produce, gardening tools, hands, and faces, striking a balance between the hands-on aspect of the cause and the contemporary appeal towards the target demographic in question. Unlike the first campaign idea, these illustrations would serve as the dominant visuals, with any photography/video serving as a secondary element. This direction might be the most lighthearted and playful of the three:

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3 – A bold, colorful, and more contemporary campaign that reinforces the local, approachable nature of the organization, coupled with photography and video. Illustration is almost nonexistent here, with real-world footage doing most of the "talking." This concept would arguably have the slickest, most professional look:

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Visiting the Gardens

I also took the opportunity to visit the gardens a few days ago, giving me the chance to speak with a few volunteers. When I asked them about their experiences, they were quick to mention the amount of knowledge gained and camaraderie formed from working in the gardens, Apparently, the gardens have received such strong support from the community that many neighbors have been inspired to start gardens of their very own, a trend that excites the volunteers. As far as improvements go, the cause has been meaning to work on promoting its mission through more than simply word-of-mouth, which is exactly what this project is intended to do.

Moving Forward

Simply put, hearing from people with firsthand experience was incredibly helpful, and they've given me a handful of upcoming events that could be great photography/filming opportunities. I've pulled inspiration and will soon sketch out several concepts. By next week, I should begin producing content for the different deliverables, such as photography, illustrations, and storyboards.