Responses by Bailey & Co.
Background: A wealth of research in recent years clearly shows how the St. Louis, Missouri, region’s longstanding challenges—from troubling crime rates to failing schools, slow economic growth and the region’s long, steady decline in national prominence—are directly tied to the area’s high concentrations of poverty, which is heavily linked to zip code and color. Once and for All is an effort to bring the whole of St. Louis together to invest in transforming and strengthening these areas and their residents to create a stronger, more equitable and prosperous city for all.
The effort is led by Beyond Housing, a nationally recognized community development organization with an innovative model for transforming under-resourced communities. The primary audience for the effort is large individual donors, corporations and foundations.
Design thinking: Though the primary target audience is large individual and institutional donors, we believed it was important to create a grassroots movement among the general public to create talk value. The campaign launched on broadcast and social media with a series of hopeful but challenging love letters to St. Louis called “Dear Lou,” as the city is often referred to locally as “The Lou.” The videos lead to a microsite that makes a case for why investing in St. Louis’s under-resourced communities is vital for the future of the entire region, as well as Beyond Housing’s innovative model for creating real and lasting change.
Challenges: This campaign is about unity and coming together for the collective good. Launching a campaign built on these themes in 2021 during a climate of extreme political polarization, racial tension and unrest, and anxiety stemming from COVID-19 was particularly challenging. Nevertheless, the core message strongly resonates with a diverse cross-section of people from all backgrounds and political leanings, as well as corporations and area leaders.
Favorite details: The campaign began with many months of strategic consulting to formalize Beyond Housing’s innovative, comprehensive model for strengthening families and transforming communities. The model is based on decades of experience in community development and learnings from national thought leaders. The campaign uniquely blends strategic thinking on addressing complex social issues, marketing strategy and creative execution.
Visual influences: During the strategic development, we intentionally shifted Beyond Housing’s brand away from how nonprofits typically communicate by elevating the brand’s look and voice to reflect better the organization’s innovative thought leadership and expertise in tackling complex social challenges.
Time constraints: The campaign launch was pushed back several times because of the dramatically changing social climate. Much of the film was shot in 2019 to air in 2020. Due to COVID-19, the scripts had to be rewritten to reflect the current time. Then, further social unrest resulting from the protests of 2020 created a need to pause the campaign launch again for fear of getting lost. In 2021, the scripts were rewritten again to reflect the polarization lingering from the 2020 presidential election and the need for St. Louis to come together for its collective good despite the deep division in the rest of the United States.