City Year and Allen & Gerritsen Win Prestigious Awards for #makebetterhappen Campaign

  • 06 Nov 2013 1:14 PM
    Message # 1429147
    Anonymous member (Administrator)


    BOSTON, MA (November, 2013) allen & gerritsen’s (a&g) groundbreaking work on City Year’s “#makebetter happen” multimedia campaign was recently named a winner of both the Forrester Groundswell Award for Business-to-Consumer Social Reach and the ANA Multicultural Excellence Grand Prize Award for Print Campaigns.

    The Forrester Groundswell Awards recognize excellence in the effective use of social technologies to drive business success and advance organizational goals.  The ANA Multicultural Excellence Awards celebrate the year’s preeminent multicultural advertising campaigns, and help raise awareness and recognition for the outstanding work being done in the areas of African-American, Asian, Hispanic, and LGBT advertising.

    "This year we found the smartest companies are moving past 'social exceptionalism' and genuinely integrating social programs into broader marketing strategies,” said Forrester Vice President and Principal Analyst Nate Elliot. “Our 2013 winners used social reach marketing to create discovery and awareness; they used social depth marketing to support exploration and consideration; and they used social relationship marketing to foster post-purchase engagement -- proving that social programs can support customers all the way through their life cycle."

    The #makebetterhappen campaign leveraged the popular social media platform Twitter, which many of the 17-24 year old City Year corps members were already using. City Year created its own hashtag and invited its 2,500 corps members to contribute their stories of service and everyday impact they had while working with students in high-need urban schools.  These authentic stories crowdsourced from social content fueled the organization’s digital and print creative executions, including a “living mosaic” at  To date the campaign has already had more than 33,200 mentions, reaching approximately 29 million impressions.  Additionally, City Year’s awareness levels increased by 84 percent, its applications from top feeder schools were up 17%, and confirmed positions accepted were up 30%.

    “We are so proud to win both the Forrester Groundswell Award and the ANA Multicultural Award,” said City Year Chief Marketing Officer Gillian Smith. "By giving our corps members a platform to share their real stories, we created a forum for authentic conversations about the impact that City Year has in the diverse communities in which we serve. We believe these awards are testaments to the success of the #makebetterhappen campaign.”

    “This recognition, in our opinion, speaks to the innovation, creativity and smart work happening every day at allen & gerritsen,” said a&g CEO Andrew Graff. “We are humbled to be recognized by both Forrester and the ANA, and honored to be able to work with a creative client like City Year.”

    To see how the City Year campaign came together, visit here.  For more information about City Year, visit For more information about a&g, including a comprehensive creative portfolio and client roster, please visit, become a fan on our Facebook page, or follow @allengerritsen on Twitter.


    About Allen & Gerritsen

    allen & gerritsen (a&g) is a fiercely independent agency in the cities where independence was born, Boston & Philadelphia. Innovation & culture drive our success. a&g runs its own r&d center (a&g Labs); curates its own branded entertainment (#afewgoodminutes); & was named by Ad Age as the Best Place to Work in U.S. Marketing & Media for 2011… & again in 2012. a&g relishes working with great clients that always ask, "What's next?" For more information, including creative profiles, visit

    About City Year 

    City Year is an education-focused nonprofit organization, founded in 1988, that partners with public schools and teachers to help keep students in school and on track to succeed. In 25 communities across the United States and through two international affiliates, this innovative public-private partnership brings together teams of young AmeriCorps members who commit to a year of full-time service in schools.  Corps members provide individual support to students who need extra care and attention, focusing on attendance, behavior, and course performance through in-class tutoring, mentoring, and after school programs. To learn more about City Year, visit, become a fan on Facebook or follow @CityYear on Twitter.


    Andrew Mastrangelo

    Director, Corporate Communications

    Direct – 857.300.2026

    Mobile – 339.237.0801

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