In the week that Home Secretary Suella Braverman hit the headlines for claiming that homelessness is a lifestyle choice, we’re launching a unique advertising campaign on ITVX to show how young people want nothing more than to avoid a night sleeping rough on the streets.
The TV campaign, titled House Auditions, coincides with the programming of Big Brother’s 25th season, from 6 November. Just like the iconic Big Brother audition tapes, each ad will feature a young person explaining to the viewer why they would make a good housemate.
Instantly recognisable, the tapes tap into the You Tube / Tik Tok generation, as the young person jovially pitches to the camera. But as the camera pulls away, the viewer begins to see more of their environment – a run-down house, a tent next to a busy road.
The twist is that the young person is not auditioning for the Big Brother house but is asking to be considered as a housemate in a home where they will be safe, warm and off the streets.
Watch the ads
The TV campaign aims to raise awareness of Nightstop, our emergency accommodation service, which relies on trained and vetted volunteers to open-up their homes to a young person without a safe place to go for the night.
Nightstop, which provided 7,522 safe nights in 2022, is a chance for the at-risk young person to stop, take a breath and, with the support of our services, find a longer-term solution.
The ads ask ‘would you be interested in opening your home to a young person in need’
Kristina Hedderly-Perez, Executive Director of Fundraising & Communications said:
“Winter is a key time for tackling homelessness, and we are currently seeing huge numbers of young people who do not have access to a safe place to sleep for the night.
“We want to raise awareness of this and encourage those who can open their hearts and their homes through our Nightstop programme – helping to provide safe accommodation for those most vulnerable at this time of year”
Recent research by Centrepoint estimates that around 129,000 16–25-year-olds in the UK are homeless or at risk of homelessness. A combination of family and relationship breakdown, increased debt, spiralling bills, and low income are some of the key causes behind the shocking figure.
For the young people in our services and represented by the TV ads, homelessness is certainty not a lifestyle choice, it is a terrifying reality for thousands who do not have an adequate support network or the financial privilege to make lifestyle choices.
*With thanks to creative agency Publicis•Poke, Production company Merman Branded and Media agency Zenith