A powerful three-month Out Of Home advertising campaign for Walking Wounded to raise awareness of the shocking plight faced by Australian soldiers returning from war was launched today.

The campaign aims to raise funds to enable Walking Wounded – established to support the psychological recovery of Australian soldiers – to expand its mentoring and counseling services to help soldiers transition back into the community.

The national campaign will launch across oOh!’s Road, Retail, Fly, Café, Office, Study, Venue and Sport networks featuring real stories of Australian soldiers who took their own lives last year and drawing attention to the incidence of suicide by returning soldiers.  The creative highlights that while 46 soldiers have died in active service since 1999, 239 soldiers have taken their own life since returning.

In the following months the campaign will evolve with creative designed to gain deeper engagement with the community through more interactive digital executions and integration with online, mobile and social platforms.

Brian Freeman, CEO and founder of Walking Wounded, said the tragic levels of incarceration, family break-ups, homelessness and suicide amongst soldiers as a result of what they witnessed while at war is not widely known within the community – and when they do hear it they are shocked.

“Walking Wounded knows that if we can mobilise the community and provide returning soldiers with mentoring and counselling, we can change all this,” Mr Freeman said.

“This campaign will help us raise the funds to expand our services to help us achieve zero tolerance of veteran suicide.

“While for the first two years of operation Walking Wounded has been able to help returned soldiers through the generous support of some sponsors this campaign will help take us to the next level of success.”

Walking Wounded, through a winning pitch by its creative agency BCM, was provided with $1 million worth of advertising space from oOh! as part of the Out Of Home advertising company’s 2015 Million Dollar Pitch competition. BCM representatives will also go on a world trip to hear from global experts on marketing and technology trends and visit some of the world’s leading Out-Of-Home advertising hot spots.

Key updates about the campaign, results and marketing trends and insights from the trip BCM is undertaking as part of the prize will be regularly updated at www.oohmilliondollarpitch.com.au

oOh! Chief Executive, Brendon Cook said the entire company has become emotionally invested into bringing the Walking Wounded campaign to life after hearing the charity’s purpose and realising the opportunity of bringing BCM’s creative to life using the reach and engagement of oOh!’s unmissable network.

“It is shocking to hear that veterans who have fought for Australia don’t feel they have the support in place to transition back into the community,” Mr Cook said.

“The campaign, overhauled website, social media strategy and refreshed business plan were all developed by BCM pro-bono, which has all the elements of a powerful and successful campaign, utilising the unmissable and innovative potential of our network.

“We are not only providing Out Of Home advertising space, but working with Walking Wounded and its agencies to help this organisation achieve its goals. We are spreading the message via our content platforms such as HIJACKED, ShortPress, QView, and across our entire inventory news feeds including our iconic Bourke Street Mall digital billboard.

“We have had tremendous support from some 35 of our landowners, installation contractors, agencies and printers who have donated their own services to help Walking Wounded achieve their objective.”

BCM Managing Director Paul Cornwell said its inspiration to enter the Million Dollar Pitch on behalf of Walking Wounded evolved out of its work for the launch of Eggs for Soldiers for their client Sunny Queen Farms which aimed to raise awareness and funding for the organisation.

“The creative for this campaign was formed from insights we gained about Walking Wounded’s business, the community issues they were aiming to address and the challenge of cutting through consumer apathy, or donor fatigue as we call it, with the thousands and thousands of charities and causes asking people for help,” Mr Cornwell said.

“This guided the creative development process for the campaign that ultimately resulted in something that would cut through the clutter and resonate with consumers through its newsworthiness and relevance.

“We then set about testing the limits of oOh!’s innovative products to maximise impact by contextual targeting of messaging. We also looked for new ways of engaging consumers by leveraging the technology available within oOh!’s innovation products.

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