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From the 8th Annual Shorty Impact Awards

Bombas 100M Items Donated: The Compassion Campaign

Gold Honor in Community Engagement


Founded with a purpose to help those in need, Bombas’s dedication to supporting the homeless community has been ingrained in its DNA since day one. Bombas’s unwavering commitment to its mission is exemplified through its distinct give-back model. For every item purchased, the brand donates a specially-designed item (socks, underwear and t-shirts — the top three most requested clothing items at homeless shelters) to those in need. Earlier this year, in Bombas’s 10th year of the business, the brand donated its 100 millionth item. To commemorate this milestone, Bombas rolled out a mission-driven marketing campaign, with the aim of changing the negative perception toward homelessness.


At the heart of Bombas’s campaign lies a steadfast objective: to reshape the perception of homelessness and empower individuals to shift their understanding of the homeless community through education and compassion-driven insights and storytelling. The urgency of this mission is driven by the alarming reality that homelessness in NYC has surged to levels not seen since the Great Depression, further compounded by increased negative public perception., 


In close collaboration with expert Dr. Nyssa Snow-Hill, agency Kingsland, and other strategic partners, the campaign continued Bombas’s commitment to supporting a community that is often overlooked and misjudged. Bombas delved deep into the root causes behind the prevailing lack of empathy towards individuals experiencing homelessness (seen in a recent 3rd-party study that shows that subjects did not view homeless people as human beings), actively seeking solutions to foster compassion through education, knowing Compassion = Change.

Strategy and Execution

Addressing the negative perceptions surrounding homelessness while continuing to be thoughtful around the impact on the community provided intricate challenges. Among the biggest hurdles was the delicate navigation of how to thoughtfully position and make an impact without exploiting or perpetuating stereotypes around those with lived experiences. In response, Bombas collaborated closely with its creative agency, Kingsland, several of its trusted Giving Partners, and individuals with lived experience, ensuring the campaign felt true to Bombas’s mission, represented the community, and extended compassion towards those in need. 


Bombas pursued various mediums across the digital, social, and OOH landscape, developing strategic content based on how people interact with each element in order to bring a sense of compassion to the conversation around homelessness. These multifaceted campaign elements shared real stories and illuminated eye-opening truths about the reasons behind homelessness and the diverse communities affected, from young children, to the LGBTIQA+ community and families, across social, digital and more. The campaign's components included: 


Prolonged Customer Engagement: To engage top customers, for the first time, Bombas, gave select customers the opportunity to choose organizations to receive 250,000 items, bringing the campaign’s purpose to life in all areas across the country.


Through their first 360 brand campaign, Bombas embarked on a mission to instill a lasting transformation in our perspective on homelessness, reframing it as a human issue. The goal was to empower individuals to shift their perception, even if just slightly, about the homeless community, driven by education and compassion-driven narratives. Bombas urged people to pause, reflect, and alter their outlook towards a marginalized and often misjudged population. Distinctively, the campaign prioritized driving compassion over conventional methods of promoting brand purchase and awareness. 


Noteworthy metrics from the campaign’s engagement include: 


While the specific OOH component of the campaign ran through June 2023, Bombas’s commitment to fostering compassion and support for the homeless community remains an integral part of the brand’s ethos. Bombas remains steadfast in its dedication to continuing the essential conversation around homelessness. The brand continues to post content from the campaign on social media and utilize the tools developed in this campaign for ongoing education. 


Video for Bombas 100M Items Donated: The Compassion Campaign

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Bombas, Bombas