Rodgers Townsend, DDB St. Louis

Pianos for People
"Music for All"

Client: Pianos for People
Product: Music Education
Title: Music for All
Media: Posters, Film, Boards, Website:
Country: United States
Date Of Campaign: October 2017

Background: Pianos for People is a St. Louis-area nonprofit that finds, repairs, then gifts pianos along with free lessons to those who don’t have access to either. As a relatively unknown upstart with little funding, PFP relies heavily on donors who support its mission to provide free pianos and lessons to aspiring musicians in St. Louis and nearby Ferguson, Missouri, who wish to play, but can’t. The benefits of learning a musical instrument on a child’s self-esteem, empathy and overall development are undisputed. But with budget shortfalls affecting everything from public schools to community programs, music and the arts are often the first to go. Pianos for People seeks to help fill that artistic, educational and emotional void with help from, and appreciation for, its many donors.

Idea: Our idea was to create a powerful campaign that introduced a new .org to the St. Louis donor community. We shot a gritty, black-and-white film on 16 mm to demonstrate the lengths to which an aspiring musician will go to find music. We built a bespoke website that not only showed Pianos for People donors the great impact they’re making on the lives of PFP’s young students, but one that could also serve as an ongoing donor portal to support the organization and its mission going forward. And we created an artful poster series to give hope to an entire city of kids longing for the uplifting gift of free music lessons for one and all.

Results: The website debuted on Oct. 22 — the night of Pianos for People’s annual Evening of 100 Fingers fundraising concert. It thanked current donors and targeted new donors who see the emotional value and transformative benefit of music education. The event sold out and raised more than twice the amount of the previous year. In the bigger picture, the site has helped PFP raise enough money to gift over 200 pianos. The nonprofit has just opened its second location in embattled Ferguson, Missouri, and its star pupil has just accepted a scholarship to the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston.

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Not for Profit