Easterseals New Jersey

Commenting on the outdoor advertising creative: “The airport should pay us to put them up!”
Anysa Holder, Assistant Vice President Marketing, Easterseals New Jersey

Situation

Easterseals New Jersey is a local chapter of a large national organization devoted to helping people with disabilities achieve their goals. Impending funding changes in New Jersey meant the future of the organization was uncertain. In the long term, they would need to rely more on private funding sources, so initially, our project was to develop a marketing strategy with a core focus on demonstrating relevance to key potential donor groups.

During the course of our Discovery work, however, we uncovered a more urgent problem: anxiety among employees and service recipients was eroding morale and confidence in the organization, which ultimately had a damaging effect on outcomes and reputation. The organization took most of the blame for these changes despite the fact that they were out of their control (unexpected loss of state funding).

DISCOVERY

We crafted our strategy with two goals in mind. First, we enlisted the collaboration of families and employees to solve the challenges facing Easterseals New Jersey so that it can continue its important work. Asking internal audiences to be part of the solution would combat feelings of victimization and help restore confidence in the organization among its closest brand ambassadors.

Our second goal was to inspire our primary marketing targets to spread the message through their channels of influence, and thus, leverage the limited expenditure to the greatest possible degree in terms of message distribution and brand impact. Doing this required an emphasis on local focus. We needed to ensure people understood how their own communities were benefiting.

SOLUTION

The campaign we developed was called Life’s Moments and was based on the notion of agency. This is at the heart of the Easterseals’ mission: giving agency to people with disabilities so that they can experience and enjoy the special moments and milestones of life. Agency is also at the core of what our strategy asks of employees and families: to play an active role in the organization’s future. With this concept in mind, we developed the campaign’s headline: “I have a disability, but it doesn’t have me.”

We sought to get as much visibility as possible by the closest brand ambassadors to instill pride in the organization. We wanted them to encounter the campaign message and the Easterseals New Jersey brand often in order to reinforce the notion that Easterseals New Jersey is a widely known and reputable organization. With limited funds for distribution channels, we focused on a few specific vehicles:

  • Using digital ads as a remarketing tool
  • Creating videos and encouraging people to share them and create their own
  • Posters distributed to all Easterseals New Jersey facilities
  • Billboards in areas with high concentrations of consumers, sponsors, facilities, and current donors

Best Outdoor Ad Campaign of 2016

New Jersey Ad Club