The mental and emotional scars of war are just as traumatic as the physical ones for military veterans. Formed to improve mental health outcomes for this audience, the Cohen Veterans Network launched the first set of its national clinics in 2016 with plans to expand into more markets. However, the organization lacked awareness and needed to get more people through their doors.
When CVN approached us to develop a digital campaign, we knew we needed to find an innovative, yet approachable, way to inspire veterans to take advantage of the care they deserved.
"designRoom’s approach is personal – they know how to bring out the heart behind the message."
Anthony Guido, VP of Communications & Marketing, Cohen Veterans Network
Before going to the drawing board, we partnered with another media agency to conduct primary and secondary research on our audiences – post-911 war veterans and their significant others dealing with PTSD, depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, and other family transitional issues – about their perceptions of behavioral health care.
The assessment revealed that they rely on the advice of other veterans more than anything else. They also respond to positive messages of hope compared to the downtrodden, battle-scarred ads they see themselves in every day.
The insights breathed life into our Back to Better campaign. The idea was to create a series of 60-90 second videos featuring veterans who shared how a CVN clinic helped them in life-changing ways. Their stories were raw, emotional, and transformative, capturing the depth of CVN’s capabilities and positive impact on mental health outcomes.
The videos were distributed through a variety of highly-targeted digital ads that were placed in each of the clinic’s markets. The ads clicked over to a landing page on CVN’s website that included the video stories.
We also optimized the creative for mobile, as well as a variety of other digital channels, so we could gather metrics and inform the next phase of media decisions.
To date, Back to Better engagement has exceeded industry averages, and marketing has become the No. 3 referral source for CVN (friends and family are No. 1 and 2, understandably). CVN also asked us to develop print, radio, and billboard ads to infuse even more energy into the campaign.
Armed with empowering stories to share, CVN is poised for continued growth as it enters new cities and supports more veterans.