BOSTON, MA (November 14, 2012) – Today Allen & Gerritsen announces the launch of City Year’s newest national recruitment and awareness campaign, #makebetterhappen. This new multi-media campaign is designed to leverage the popular social media platform Twitter, a platform many of the 17-24 year old City Year corps members are already using. City Year has created its own hashtag and has invited its 2,500 corps members to contribute their stories of service and everyday impact they are having while working with students in high-need urban schools.  These authentic stories crowdsourced from social content will fuel future creative executions.   This is City Year’s first major advertising push since naming Allen & Gerritsen as its agency of record in April 2012.

City Year partners with public schools to keep students in school and on track to succeed. The national, nonprofit organization unites a diverse group of young adults to commit to a year of full-time service in schools to 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.

The campaign commences with broadcast, print, digital and out-of-home elements featuring 12 corps members chosen from the 24 cities in which City Year operates.    The creative executions feature real tweets from the corps members (including the hash tag #makebetterhappen), highlighting the impact they have in our high-need urban schools every day.  All offline vehicles drive prospects to the #makebetterhappen stream on twitter to find out more about City Year from the authentic voices of those serving in schools.  

As the campaign grows, more than 2,500 corps members will have the opportunity to drive the #makebetterhappen dialogue with their own stories, and in the process, fuel content for future creative executions.  The ongoing dialogue will also automatically populate an online mosaic comprised of real-time corps member tweets located on the City Year homepage.  In its earliest stages, the campaign has already seen more than 9,235 #makebetterhappen tweets, reaching approximately 5.4 million impressions.

“With ‘#makebetterhappen,’ Allen & Gerritsen shines a light on the heart and soul of our organization – the corps members who are making a difference each and every day in the lives of students,” said City Year Chief Marketing Officer Gillian Smith. "By giving our corps members a platform to share their real stories, we have an authentic, wonderful forum for real conversations between City Year corps members, alumni, staff, supporters and potential future corps members."

"We were inspired by the passion and dedication the corps members show by committing to a year of full-time service to help kids at risk of dropping out of school,” said Allen & Gerritsen Creative Director Doug Gould.  “We designed #makebetterhappen to highlight the powerful impact that City Year has in schools by using the organization’s best assets – its current corps members.”

For more information about Allen & Gerritsen, including a comprehensive creative portfolio and full 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 27-year-old advertising agency with an entrepreneurial spirit.  Always focused on what’s next, we view the agency as a lab, incubating ideas to build business (including our own media channels like #Techi).  a&g is ranked number one by Advertising Age a Best Place to Work Top 50 Independent advertising agencies in the US and named a Best Place to Work in Massachusetts by both the Boston Globe and the Boston Business Journal. Our client roster is comprised of a mix of consumer and BtoB brands, including:  The Boston Celtics, Bright Horizons Family Solutions, Comcast, D’Angelo Grilled Sandwiches, Hannaford Supermarkets, Hornsby’s Hard Cider, Kamik Footwear, MFS Investment Management, Ninety Nine Restaurants, Papa Gino’s, WBUR, Partnership for a Drug Free America, Raymond Corporation (a division of Toyota Industries Corporation), Toy State, Waters Corporation and Zildjian.

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 24 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