Those Red Kettles and ringing bells have become synonymous with The Salvation Army and Christmas. The Crosswind team knew that such powerful branding could be put to even more important work to benefit The Salvation Army clients. When country star Cory Morrow learned of the number of local women and children experiencing homelessness who receive help from The Salvation Army, he became an ardent supporter and sought more involvement. The Crosswind crew teamed up with Morrow to develop a plan to kick off the holiday season with something memorable to raise awareness and money for The Salvation Army Austin Area Command, and came up with the Rock the Red Kettle ATX concert.
Central Texas weather has two sides during the winter: mildly temperate, or bitterly cold. Crosswind teams worked to entice as many attendees as possible through compelling creatives as part of the promotional outreach, producing programs, posters, onsite branding, radio commercials, videos and video slides. The team also worked to create as many donation streams as possible, rather than relying solely on attendance numbers.
On a bitterly cold evening, November 22, 2015, Morrow and other high-profile Texas country musicians, such as Pat Green, Jack Ingram and Drew Womack, took the stage and put on a powerful concert that was presented by local radio station KOKE FM. Playing to a packed house, the concert raised over $230,000 through a combination of sponsorships, auction items and donations.
The concert also served as a launching point for an ongoing holiday campaign featuring musicians and local artists volunteering their time and talents at red kettle donation locations throughout Austin.
The local Salvation Army received record donations during the Christmas 2015 campaign, and while Rock the Red Kettle (RTRK) concerts are held elsewhere in the country, RTRK ATX was the only one to raise money.