Solving the Unsolvable

Over the course of two years, we’ve been able to help Camp Mesorah to increase their numbers by about 38%.

Now it’s time to go to the next level and that is to solve the challenge that most sleep away camps have:


The Problem

In an effort to make camps seem more affordable for parents, some time 30 years ago, camps began splitting up the summer into 2 separate sessions.

The main reason for that was that camps wanted to make the tuition seem cheaper by splitting it up into two.

This has really backfired for camps, as even some of our largest clients see a drop of up to 50% in campers from 1st session to 2nd session.  This can mean a drop in revenue of hundreds of thousands of dollars. No small amount.

We always try to identify extra revenue sources for our clients after we set up the initial must-have advertising pieces of the marketing funnel.

Now we moved on to the second phase for Camp Mesorah and the second biggest challenge to solve is to try to keep second session filled.

The Solution

Getting kids who are already at camp to stay for second session is the second lowest-hanging fruit a camp can aim for. So why has no one yet targeted this group?

We did some in-depth research and found out that to tackle the second session issue is a really challenging one. We thought this problem through for over two years and now

we found a possible way out:

We proposed to Ari Katz, director of Camp Mesorah, that one of our ad films for this years should target campers who are undecided whether or not to stay for second session.  Our research revealed that one possible avenue to get campers to stay longer is to entice them with a “Hero” theme related campaign. Be A Hero – 2ndSesh @Mesorah.  The idea is that in order to become your best self-hero you can’t stop in mid term. You have to finish what you started.

Making a film about encouraging campers to extend their stay into second session is great, but you need another vital component for this to work: You need to do some “on-campus” indoctrination and repetition in order for campers act upon your message. Remember: it takes up to seven impressions till your target audience upon your message.

The Process

In order to get kids to stay for longer, we needed to drill into the psychology of what would make a camper want to stay for second session.  Since we have started to brand Mesorah as the “Jewish Sports Camp” a few years ago, our advertising films for them have been about sports as a metaphor for life (meaning Torah), resilience, going the distance, putting mind over matter in order to achieve life goals. We want to continue with that theme here and want to bring it to the next level in order to ensure that kids finish what they start and don’t give up halfway through the summer.

To make the film, Margelit wrote the script of a cheer, essentially bringing viewers along on the journey as to WHY they should sign up for second session. Then she taught it to a group of 40 campers and we recorded the voice over with them. The idea was that we wanted influencer campers to be part of it so that they go out and share the film with their friends (since they participated in the film) as well as having them to become ambassadors for getting kids to stay for second sesh.

Margelit wrote the cheer in a motivational and catchy way, so that the campers would easily remember some key lines from this ad.

Here are the key components for this campaign to work:

  1. We’ve used the campers in our advertising, so that they and their parents have an incentive to share it with their friends on social media (we produced the cheer alone with about 40 campers)
  2. We’re debuting the film at a significant campwide event (in this case, Havdala)
  3. We will repeat the film on different screens throughout camp, at specific locations where campers gather, and even have the film loop on silent, and the soundtrack of the cheer at different events.
  4. Every camp has a wakeup call through loudspeaker. We’ll play the audio track every morning as the wake up call.
  5. We place the commercial right before parents on visiting day so that kids will “nag” their parents and convince them to let them stay for the next part.

The Results

Since this is the first time we’ll be tackling the second sesh issue we’ll report back what the real outcome was of such an undertaking.


1 Response to "Solving the Unsolvable"

  1. I can only help as camp counselor. I have no money even for food.

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