Change has two identities: a driving force for progress, and the coins we find in our pockets. This year, we’re merging both meanings by joining forces with Save the Children to demonstrate the impact a single coin can have in creating real change in the life of a child. There are 14 million children living in poverty across the U.S., and Save the Children’s early-education efforts target these vulnerable kids and their families by providing books, literacy and math programs, parent-child play groups, and training tools for teachers, to give children the strong start they deserve.
To bring the Make Change campaign to life, the Barneys creative team explored the idea of the penny as a symbol of small change that can make a big difference. More than 2 million pennies were used to create the visuals seen throughout the various Barneys stores, all of which will be converted and donated to Save the Children. “One of the most exciting things about the project was being able to use a material that could be harnessed throughout the campaign and then become a philanthropic contribution after,” says Matthew Mazzucca, Barneys New York’s Creative Director.
When Mazzucca and the creative team started conceptualizing the visual identity of the project, they began by exploring the origin of the penny. “It’s this iconic piece of currency, but it’s lost some of its value in the grand scheme of spending. We looked back at the original Fugio penny and its universal message of ‘We Are One’ and incorporated it into the vernacular of the campaign,” he says. They also adopted symbolic elements from the coin, like the flags and fluted columns, but reappropriated them in creative ways both visually in-store and in humorous new-wave animations.
The team also looked to the penny for the color palette—both the metallic, copper tones and the beautiful green patina it develops over time. As the art direction evolved, the team brought in shades of light pink and mint green—a sort of toned-down take on traditional holiday hues. “We also thought about this idea of Make Change and Change Counts as slogans you would find within advertising,” adds Mazzucca. “But in this case, the call to action is about something you can give rather than something you can buy.”
With activations throughout the holiday season that encourage donations to Save the Children at all Barneys New York stores, there’s no shortage of ways to engage with the 2018 Make Change campaign. Jennifer Garner is also helping to raise awareness for Save the Children’s work by appearing in an exclusive public service announcement in partnership with Make Change.
To spread the positive spirit, if you share the hashtag #centiments with @barneysny, the Barneys New York Foundation will donate $5 to Save the Children for every post. #centiments will continue through January 1, 2019.*
*Up to $150,000. For more information please visit savethechildren.org/legal