Australia’s largest social enterprise is turning 25. On the anniversary of Australia’s first Big Issue magazine being sold on the steps of Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station in June 1996, Town Square has created a campaign to mark the occasion.
25 Years Big is a celebratory statement of pride, rendered in the iconic Big Issue logo design and temporarily taking the place of the logo itself, across the campaign and the Big Issue website.
The campaign puts Big Issue vendors at the heart of the celebrations by creating the illustrated likeness of real vendors who sell the magazine on the streets of major cities across Australia, like Ruth from Adelaide, Robert from Perth and Lynn from Sydney – and Ruth’s dog, Fifi. These real-life characters interact with their customers in a rich, illustrated version of Australia’s familiar urban landscape.
The campaign delivers a timely reminder to new generations of Australians that each of us makes a tangible difference to the life of someone experiencing homelessness, disadvantage or marginalisation whenever we buy the magazine. As Australia comes to terms with the impact of COVID-19, the campaign makes a statement that’s about binding Australians together – an expression of our collective will not to leave anyone behind.
The campaign has been created to run in a broad range of TV, cinema, radio, OOH, digital and print media. Town Square has been working with The Big Issue on a pro bono basis for a number of years, developed the campaign in association with Carat, who has secured impressive exposure through the generous donated inventory of too many media partners to mention.
Steph Say, national communications and partnerships manager at The Big Issue said, “since our first edition, more than 7,000 vendors have sold 13 million copies of the magazine – putting $32 million into the pockets of those living on the margins. This anniversary is a big milestone and a time to celebrate the achievements we have made together in taking people out of poverty for 25 years.”
“The 25 Years Big campaign is testament to vendors’ continued hard work and a chance for us to thank our community of program participants, customers, supporters, partners, volunteers and staff for their collective commitment to making a difference. Here’s to the next 25!”.
Brendan Day, executive creative director at Town Square added, “The Big Issue is a cultural icon that permeates our city streets and towns. And the legendary vendors who sell the magazine are larger-than-life personalities. We wanted to capture this in a way that felt fun and celebratory yet dignified. By working with an extremely talented team we were able to capture this in a way that immortalizes their stories within the context of our Australian landscape to celebrate 25 Years Big”.
Sue Squillace, CEO of Carat ANZ, said the agency has no hesitation when it comes to helping in times like this. “It’s not only rewarding to witness the generosity of our long-term media partners, but seeing how quickly they responded when asked to support this great cause has been overwhelming. I’m also very proud of the Carat team and their collaborative and passionate approach during this campaign.”