How do you get people to notice you? Laughlin Constable believes that sometimes you need to hit the streets. Make it so that people can’t help but notice you. Fire extinguishers on street corners are not common sitings. You can’t help but notice and be intrigued. We are told our whole lives not to touch a fire extinguisher unless it’s an emergency. Yet, here is a fire extinguisher asking to be touched and moved. You know you want to do it.
If you were walking down the sidewalk in downtown Milwaukee and you stumbled upon a fire extinguisher with directions from the American Red Cross in Southeastern Wisconsin to pick it up and move it to another corner, would you? That’s exactly what the Red Cross was hoping you’d do on Wednesday, August 26th.
Together, the Red Cross and Laughlin Constable placed 30 faux fire extinguishers on the high-traffic corners of downtown Milwaukee with a message that the Red Cross steps in when the fire is out. The fire extinguishers had instructions to feel free to pick it up and move it to another location in the downtown area. You also had the opportunity to go online to givehopenow.org and enter the code on the fire extinguisher to win a prize and then advise where you found and moved it. You could also follow the locations of the fire extinguishers on Twitter.
It’s not just fires that the Red Cross helps to extinguish. They are there after a natural disaster, including tornadoes, hurricanes and floods. In an effort to get the flooding message out there, Laughlin Constable wrapped street poles at 12″ intervals in the parts of downtown most affected by flooding. The wraps had different messages starting at the bottom with “Call your friends to help” and moving up to “Call for sandbags” and “Call for a pump” followed by “Call your insurance agent” and then at eye-level, “Call the Red Cross”. The spacing of the wraps symbolized different flood levels. The message was to please donate. Many disasters are natural. So is the desire to help.
In both of these guerrilla efforts, the message became the medium. We interrupted the every day. The Red Cross needed to be noticed and we got noticed. The fire extinguishers and pole wraps received coverage by The Journal Sentinel as well as FOX6 and TV58. Fire extinguishers were moved. The word got spread. When the fire is out, we step in.
The Red Cross in Southeastern Wisconsin came to Laughlin Constable with the need to get the message out there: they step in when the fire, flood, natural disaster is out. They rely solely on donations from people like you and me. While the Red Cross may go unnoticed at times, their efforts never will. The Red Cross is on the scene after every disaster, helping to restore hope and rebuilding lives. They are a group of people with the natural desire to help. And they are extremely passionate about their cause.
To learn more about the Red Cross in Southeastern Wisconsin or to donate, go online to redcrossinsewis.org.