This is the last part of our 3-part series on why it’s important to rebrand your non-profit image. In PART I we discussed why branding is so important even for non-profits. In PART II I shared with you how you can dominate your market if you do your rebranding with a multi-part video campaign.
Our Stats First
Now you probably want to know first what the stats are at the moment, right? We are proud to announce that Camp Mesorah increased its early registration numbers over 34% compared to their last strongest year. To put it in perspective, they released two of our videos over the course of one month prior to early registration, and already have 110 more campers signed up for early registration than they did at the same time last year. This equals a revenue increase of over $700,000, which is exponentially more than they paid for the videos.
Not bad, eh?
Since this was ONLY early registration and we achieved already such unbelievable growth, I predict that by the end of their application period they will completely sell out, will have a waiting list, and will have to build more bunks and beds. This is what happened to Morasha, for whom we produced 10 videos a few years ago. They are still riding that wave of success, still have a long waiting list, and are still building new buildings to handle the influx.
But these numbers are only early registration numbers. I will keep you updated on the further progress.
Take a look at the 3rd video here:
Find Your Brand’s Voice & Distinction
Back to my promised PART III of this series on how to brand your organization.
In the first two parts of our campaign we branded Camp Mesorah as THE SPORTS CAMP. And the way we did it is that we produced one commercial video ad featuring its unbelievable specialty sports program, and in the second video commercial we addressed that only in Camp Mesorah do you get the EXTREME sports. This doesn’t mean other camps don’t provide extreme sports and activities as well. BUT they don’t advertise their camp as specializing in them, and therefore Camp Mesorah stands out.
The lesson to learn for your own brand: Don’t look for something new in your organization to tell people about. You have everything you need. You have a service, a product, an event. You just have to package it as something new and innovative for your audience. Look for things that your competition doesn’t use in their advertising and marketing even if they do the same things you offer. Like in our case here, every camp has sports, right? But none dares to get up and say: WE ARE THE JEWISH SPORTS CAMP.
Boom. Now they own it.
Rebranding the Rebranding
Now, when we started to work with Camp Mesorah we tried to find THE ONE THING that sets them apart, and we decided together it’s the sports aspect. So we called the campaign Camp Mesorah, The Sports Camp. But over the course of our campaign we still felt something was missing. Ari & Joseph, Camp Mesorah’s owners still felt a bit uncomfortable with The Sports Camp. I think the main reason was that it was now JUST the sports camp. But it is also a Jewish camp with Jewish values. Then Joseph asked how would it sound if we would call it “The Religious Sports Camp”. I first cringed but I then got his point. He wanted to add another aspect of what Camp Mesorah stands for. It’s sports but it’s also Jewish. After a minute of thinking I said: Ok, religious might have connotations that don’t fit the brand. So I said: How about “The Jewish Sports Camp”.
That resonated with all of us because now it doesn’t just define WHAT it is but also for WHOM it is.
The lesson I learned: Never finish tweaking your brand’s definition. Even if you already bought all your marketing material and logos. Make in nichey as much as possible.
Make It Heartfelt
So, in order to add some heart to the campaign, we needed to address some more things that Camp Mesorah stands for. Although it offers specialty training and sports, it comes as a full-fleshed Jewish and religious camp, right? In order to communicate those more intrinsic values, we produced a promo where we communicate and show the great friendship people make, the awesome Torah learning, how all the activities let the campers bond and grow in self esteem and skill sets.
Promo Is a Must Have
We chose the promo, meaning to say a longer format, that communicates all those points. We experimented a lot and found that every brand needs what we call a “centerpiece”. Like the centerpiece on the table at a wedding. No matter how many commercials you already have, you need a center piece that communicates the 5 most important points of your brand in ONE promo film.
We also integrated the deeper meaning of why a specialty sports camp is so great in character development and how they actually do it. We didn’t really address that in the two previous commercials. And the commercials were never intended to do so. They were produced to excite young campers.
Now, usually in most promo videos you would see maybe 10-15 campers and staff being interviewed and then they would show off the activities that the camp has to offer. But this has been done often enough and we asked ourselves how can we make Camp Mesorah stand out.
A New Promo Approach
So we went a totally different route and developed a new concept. We looked at movies and noticed that you always have one or two protagonists and then a bunch of supporting roles. The reason why movies are designed this way is so that we can bond better with one or two people and experience the story from their perspective, rather than not bonding at all with a wider range of people who appear only briefly. It makes any movie experience stronger and more emotional.
Hence, we wanted our audience to bond more with fewer Camp Mesorah campers. And the way we did this is that we chose two campers, a girl and a boy and showed a potential day in camp from their perspective. Additionally we interviewed a few of their friends as “supporting roles” to widen the spectrum of people and experiences and give more substance to what our protagonists had to say. We also added a bit of personal anecdotes i.e. why Jakey loves learning and why Eliana is such a good friend.
We wanted to show what amazing campers Camp Mesorah has and secondly we wanted to create kind of a role model function. We wanted potential and new campers to say: I want to become them one day.
Implying that the way to do so is to come to Camp Mesorah :).
The challenge of this approach is that you need two really great protagonists who are visually appealing but also have an interesting point of view to share. If you don’t capture that, then your project can be endangered. That’s one of the reasons why it’s easier to just interview 15 people and create a story out of it. That is not a bad idea, but we predict that when you tell a story from the point of view of two rather then 15 people, your audience gets more attached with them, and eventually also with your brand.
All of this is still theory and works for movies; I will report back here how this effects non-profit advertising. as well.
In this series I wanted to show you that the approach of having one promo film and two supporting commercials seems to be the best entry-level way of starting a campaign for your brand. We also have clients for whom we’ve done just one single promo, due to their budget constrains. But the truth is that with a minimum of 3 films, created and marketed strategically, it will make a huge splash and will be perceived as the campaign of a market leader. That’s what we learned when we built a 10 commercial campaign for Camp Morasha and because of that they dominated the market in the following years.
Let me ask you, was this helpful? Does what I say here make sense to you? Would love to hear what you have observed and tested. Leave me a comment below. Thank you!