Don’t Be Just Anyone

As you might remember, last year we produced an extensive campaign for Camp Mesorah, and it was a big success.  We can probably say that we helped grow Camp Mesorah into the biggest Jewish camp today.  And this year they’ve asked us to further the campaign and continue to position camp Mesorah as the leader in Jewish camps.

Not content to rest on our laurels, we did research again this year into what motivates their target audience. We found that kids, tweens and teens really love action and hero content. It just so happened that Mesorah had approached us regarding their newly upgraded and reinvented its paintball and IDF campground, and they asked us to feature it as part of the ad campaign. Based on both the research and Mesorah’s request, we wanted to drive an ad campaign that was entirely thematic.


Why themes are so important in your advertising

A theme tells a story that people identify with. People don’t buy a product or sign up for a service because it’s practical; they buy it because it makes them feel the way they want to feel about themselves.  They see a reflection of themselves in the brands they buy (Mercedes drivers don’t just drive a Mercedes because it gets them faster from A to B; it’s the way they want to be seen by others.)
And the same is true for the way kids of all ages choose their camp. They choose (in terms of what marketing and advertising can influence) mostly based on who goes to the camp/what type of demographic, and what the camp stands for.


The Challenge.
Jewish camps and Jewish institutions make the mistake that they’re most of the time indistinguishable from one another.  Therefore, a kid or a parent, whether they want to send their kid to camp or to school, often have a hard time differentiating which one of all the offers they should choose, since through their marketing, they look all the same.
Seriously, what really is the difference between all the Jewish summer camps?  When you look at their films and their website, they all promise you the same stuff;

  • Summer of a lifetime
  • Friends forever
  • Fun-filled adventures

You get my point.

Now in order to stand out from the crowd, you’ve got to stand for something. When we started the campaign last year framing Camp Mesorah as The Jewish Sports Camp, that resonated with a lot of kids. Because at that age demographic, they want friends, they want to have an experience like a “hero,” they want to have fun, and they want to be the best at whatever it is they’re doing. And when we realized this, we realized that Camp Mesorah’s strength – their workshops and their athletics guided by professionals in their fields – really matched what those kids want… they just needed us to bring it out and make it shine.

So What Can You Do About It?
Go out and find your theme, your Unique Selling Point, and advertise it to the world. Most camps want their videos to include a list of everything they have going on, and that’s fine for a promo film. But that’s only one film. It’s not fine for a whole campaign because then your lists of features and offerings look the same as the next camp’s.  All these camps offer sports, Torah, friendships, trips, etc.  But even if you offer the same as all your competitors, choose one of your core strengths and play that up. If your camp is known as the Torah camp, play that up. If your camp is the chessed camp, focus on that.  And if it’s not really known for anything, shape up your offerings, and now it’s up to YOU to decide what your camp should be known for.  Choose your niche, and run with it.

Now you might say, “But Shmuley, don’t we exclude demographics and certain people if we focus on just one thing?”

Back to our example. Mercedes only advertises to wealthy, beautiful people. Yet they manage to get business from people who are not wealthy or beautiful all the same.  We buy and follow who we aspire to be and who we want to become – not who we are today.  The fact is, the masses follow a leader.  Choose your niche and the masses will tag along with the die-hards.

Target your advertising. You can’t please all the people, and if you try to, you will likely end up pleasing no one, or worse – attract clientele you don’t want in the first place for whatever reason.  BUT you can certainly please some of the people. So focus on that “some” and the late-adopters will come along for the ride.  In short, standing for something will get you farther than standing for nothing, or for everything, for that matter.

Early registration for Camp Mesorah ends tonight.  You can see in our promo film (above) why more and more kids are switching to Mesorah… and coming back year after year.

Register now at

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