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Disabled American Veterans (DAV), a leading Veterans Service Organization (DSO), each year helps more than one million veterans and their families with free services to help them get the benefits and support they earned and deserve. Crosby Marketing Communications was selected to create a national, multichannel Public Service Announcement (PSA) campaign to raise awareness of DAV’s important activities and accomplishments.
To inform the PSA strategy and creative theme, Crosby undertook a comprehensive brand study. A national quantitative online survey set benchmark values for awareness, and tested potential messaging for the 2016 campaign. A series of 12 focus groups was conducted to get feedback about potential campaign messaging strategies and creative concepts.
Research revealed the public wanted to see tangible proof of DAV’s positive impact on veterans’ lives, so Crosby needed to articulate that DAV provides a lifetime of support for veterans, transforming lives in positive ways. Their integrated “Victories for Veterans” PSA campaign showed how DAV had helped real veterans overcome a variety of challenges and achieve personal victories, great and small.
- Distributing PSAs to more than 1,300 television and 3,500 radio outlets nationwide
- Attending industry events (National Association of Broadcasters, Country Radio Seminar)
- Conducting New York and Washington, DC, meetings with broadcast gatekeepers to secure PSA use
- Pitching key print outlets likely to support a veterans-focused message
Target audiences included people ages 40-64, predominately Middle America boomers, and voters who were patriotic, active in causes, with an affinity for the military. Crosby employed a multimedia PSA campaign that included:
- Television spots featuring 7 veterans who had achieved personal victories – from earning a college degree and a great job, to learning to live with an amputation or overcoming PTSD
- Three radio spots allowing veterans to tell personal stories of how DAV had helped them
- Seven print ads that showcased various veterans and the challenges they had overcome to achieve their victories
- Multiple out-of-home executions generating billboard, airport and transit sign placements nationwide. ‘
The campaign exceeded every goal it set out to accomplish:
- Television PSAs, which included national placements on CBS and ABC, accounted for more than 1 billion audience impressions and a donated media value of $51 million.
- Nearly 40,000 radio PSAs aired during 2016 for a donated media value of $1.3 million.
- Nearly 350 national and regional print PSA placements were placed for DAV. This generated 25 million impressions and a donated media value of $2.1 million.
- More than 3,500 out-of-home materials were placed in markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco and Washington, DC.
- Out-of-home placements accounted for 944 million impressions and a donated media value of $4.5 million.
In total, the integrated PSA campaign generated more than $74 million in donated media, besting the original goal by $62 million.
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