Responses by Brokaw
Background: The purpose behind this project was to increase lead generation and sales conversion for an iconic Cleveland historic cemetery with a reputation for famous residents like John D. Rockefeller, president James A. Garfield and Eliot Ness, beautiful views and a “death positive” brand voice. Using direct mail with a real BOGO plot and casket promotion, social media and connected TV, we targeted adults 35 years and older with a higher household income and a passion for arts and culture.
Reasoning: Since current circumstances put a damper on travel plans, we proposed that breathtaking grounds, unbeatable amenities and welcoming accommodations make Lake View Cemetery an ideal destination for a COVID-safe day trip or a really, really extended stay. And once we positioned Lake View Cemetery as the perfect place to “staycation,” we discovered an eerie amount of similarities between this 150-year-old historic cemetery and iconic getaways like Disney World and Sandals Resorts.
Challenges: We had to keep context in mind: we’re trying to promote cemetery visitation and burial planning services in the midst of a global pandemic. So, as not to imply Lake View Cemetery was trying to capitalize on that, we sought to strike a delicate balance between recognizing the gravity of the current situation while delivering some much-needed levity.
Favorite details: In addition to the three spots, we also created a “travel” brochure that has many subtle nods to tourism literature. It’s both a useful sales piece and a disarmingly fun way for people to participate in the uniqueness that is Lake View Cemetery. Bob Boving, our video spot voiceover actor, also nailed (sorry) his philosopher-like delivery to give them that nuanced balance between profundity and playfulness.
Visual influences: We drew a lot of inspiration from all-inclusive resort commercials—think sweeping drone footage and jaw-droppingly beautiful shots of nature. It all plays into that nice reveal toward the end of each fifteen-second spot when you realize these breathtaking scenes are actually from a cemetery in the middle of Cleveland, Ohio.
Anything new: Our audience was receptive to the tongue-in-cheek-ness of this campaign, which we hoped for but couldn’t bank on. We saw that people are looking for any reason to laugh right now—they’re just not expecting that comic relief to come from their friendly, local resting place.