Case StudyWe Honor Veterans Brand & Collateral
Some brands have to search for their emotional core. A brand calling hospice workers to serve dying veterans is not one of them. Our challenge here was to enlist all the natural emotion of this important campaign into the service of creating bold, selfless action.
Mrs. Andersen’s husband was nearing the end of his life but there wasn’t the slightest sense of alarm in the room. As Kathi Bahr set up her equipment, Andersen lovingly fussed with her husband’s memorablia — medals, photographs, an old uniform — all arranged for the benefit of the camera. Across the room hospice worker June Jackson spoke quietly to her patient who rocked comfortably and then laughed at something Jackson had said. All around there was a sense of ease. As Kathi began to roll the video, June started in with gentle, respectful questions. As the conversation deepened, Mr. Andersen became more and more animated in his responses.
Kathi was witnessing a hospice professional with complete mastery of a very difficult family situation. And it was no accident that June knew exactly how to give Mr. Andersen just the right kind of care. She had been trained, like thousands of other professionals, through the We Honor Veterans program. Thanks to the empowering and emotional messaging created by Free Range, June proudly saw herself “on a mission to serve.”
Today, one out of every four dying Americans is a Veteran, but until NHPCO’s breakthrough campaign, very few caregivers understood the unique challenges these men and women faced at the end of life. Hospice workers often found themselves unprepared for the traumas that suddenly resurfaced in their patients.
Working with the VA, NHPCO put together a simple training program that would give caregivers everything they needed to serve Veterans. But they couldn’t make participation mandatory — instead, it had to be attractive to busy professionals.
We knew the campaign had to tell a compelling story. So we interviewed dozens of hospice workers and discovered that they are driven by personal pride in offering comfort to each and every patient. Building off that sense of pride and a strong professional identity, we invited hospice heroes on “a mission to serve those who served us.”
We built a rich Brand Story, the campaign’s visual identity and an emotionally-driven website to invite caregivers in. And they showed up in droves. Hospice organizations across the country eagerly adopted the program and we were honored, a year later, to interview these frontline caregivers and hear them speak about their experiences using the exact phrases we put forth in the campaign messaging guidelines.
NHPCO reported that our work together was a “tremendous success” with almost 1,200 organizations joining the program since its launch. We owe that success to an empowerment marketing strategy that turned participation in the trainings from a hoop to jump through into a chance for hospice workers to reach for their highest values.
June, the caregiver Kathi met that day on the shoot, certainly saw the campaign that way. "I am proud of the work we do every day and this campaign has made me better at the work I do with veterans. It spoke to my values and I am glad I made the choice to be a part of it."
The culmination of our work with NHPCO was the production of a campaign video for We Honor Veterans. The script was based on our brand story, it was shot on location by Kathi Bahr and Adrian Elliot, and narrated by June Jackson. The movie is a fitting, emotional celebration not only of our work with NHPCO, but of the lives of the Veterans featured. We hope you'll share this campaign with any Hospice volunteers in your life, to continue spreading the important story of our aging service members.
“This was really a full team effort for an extraordinarily important client that creates a measurable difference in people's lives.”Profile
“A year post-launch, I interviewed several hospice professionals. It was exciting to hear them use our brand story words as they passionately described the difference the campaign made in their work.”Profile
“My grandparents, married for 66 years, met in the Navy; and my mother plans to volunteer for her local hospice provider once she retires. Channeling their potential needs helped me guide solutions.”Amy Hartzler Studio Director Profile