Advertising Case Study

The Power of a Cookie

Download PDF



A non-profit, statewide community service organization desired to create a social enterprise to support community fund development and awareness. FabCom created a hidden gem with its marketing, positioning, and social advertising program. 100 percent of the proceeds from cookies purchased go toward helping the homeless get the support they need to turn their lives around. Even better — people previously facing homelessness are making, baking, and packaging the homemade cookies for sale and, more importantly, gaining vocational training that will help them build a new life for themselves and their families.

The objective was to further develop the products and marketing promotions, then market the social enterprise promoting the selling of these cookies to help support this transformational program. The focus was on providing for those in need of hand up instead of a hand out — a program full of potential that had not yet been realized.

The aim of the Can You See Me? campaign was, of course, to sell cookies; it was also to take the organization’s brand to previously unreached audiences market wide. To do that, FabCom needed to raise awareness in people who are inherently good and would like to help — but who are afraid to look.

woman on tablet

The people who avoid the person standing on the street corner asking for spare change, even though deep down they feel a desire to do something. FabCom wanted — and needed — to sensitize good people. People just like all of us.

In addition, FabCom, as a top integrated marketing and advertising agency, wanted to find a way to reach Generations X, Y, and Z. According to researchers, half of these generations don’t care and are self-centered; and the other half say that these generations actually care more than the generations before them, they just require more proof of the validity of the cause. FabCom put their team of dynamic marketing ninjas to work on finding a way to not only reach this challenging audience, but move them into action.

With the momentum-building Can You See Me? campaign, the agency sought to take the client’s brand into new territory and, ultimately, help transform their mission to reduce the cycle of local homelessness.

The challenge was to find a way to effectively connect a social enterprise business, the needs of the homeless, the organization, and those who care. In order to make that connection, the campaign had to inspire people to look. The Can You See Me? campaign is designed to do just that, using authentic imagery, a visceral call-to-action, and cookies.

The campaign was designed to use FabCom’s dynamic marketing method, Neuromarketology, to inspire people to stop, look, care, and be inspired to do something immediately – either donate, buy cookies, or forward the campaign to like-minded, caring colleagues, friends, and family.

Goals And Objectives

  • Motivate people to stop and look long enough to care about the plight of the homeless.
  • Empower them to feel the emotion and the empathy to help with donations.
  • Increase the organization’s digital footprint.
  • Introduce fresh, new donors to a stale and over-solicited donor base.
  • Introduce the organization’s brand to millennials.
  • Increase revenue at the social enterprise level to help get vulnerable populations back to work.

homeless outreach campaign

Key Issues And Opportunities

An exciting opportunity surfaced to propel this campaign forward and build a chain of support that responds to both the younger and older giving audiences. For those younger audiences who are not likely to buy cookie gifts, don’t write checks, do not carry a spare $50 for gifts, and don’t go to their mailboxes looking for direct mail letters, this campaign accommodates:

  • Online digital “swipe donations” of $5-$20
  • Younger audiences, who are more empathetic and most likely to become our new stakeholders
  • The opportunity, through this campaign, for targets to give more than $25 by visiting the organization’s website donation page
  • Complements the organization’s communication efforts – with separate targeting, timing, and giving channels

can you see me campaign


  • Market a social enterprise to reach people with an emotional appeal that motivates them to act.
  • Encourage the social sharing of the message in a complementary campaign component, Send to Ten, to build a broader network of social engagement.
  • Viscerally connect to targets who will feel self-empowerment and gratification knowing they can make/have made a direct difference.
  • Make it easy to give by suggesting smaller swipe donations in alternate channels.

campaign donations


  • Development and packaging of products to sell
  • Social media Facebook canvas ad
  • microsite
  • www.CanUSee.Me web page to drive appeal
  • 30- and 60-second PSA TV spots
  • Embedded web video
  • PSA magazine print ad
  • Referral email
  • Stakeholders email
  • PSA billboard
  • Send to Ten social sharing initiative: Email sent to the organization’s champions and community leaders with CTA for donating, buying cookies, and facilitating the 10-person challenge (forwarding campaign to family, friends, and associates)

homeless outreach social media marketing material


Cross-channel integration touched over 1.3 million Phoenicians in the first nine days of the campaign. The campaign has been nominated for two 2018 Addy Awards.

AAF Phoenix FabCom Awards

Send to Ten campaign initiative

A component of the Can You See Me? campaign was the Send to Ten challenge unveiled to community leaders. If they challenged 10 people, each of them challenges 10 people, and this happens a total of 10 times, that is 1,000,000,000 people reached. With just 10 people from their contacts list, including family and friends, this campaign can truly change the world by changing lives through the client’s site. The power of a cookie, unleashed.

Find out more about the services and methodology leveraged for this project:


Brian Fabiano


Linda Tyler