An integrated ad campaign for a community-minded health organization
Advertising & Marketing
Reaching the right audience with the right message is a challenge all brands face. It becomes even more complicated when your target audience is composed of multiple, niche segments, and your message revolves around personal and potentially sensitive topics. That was the case for Evergreen Health, who partnered with Block Club to devise and execute an integrated ad campaign to increase brand awareness among potential patients and compel them to visit Evergreen for important health screenings. Thirteen months later, the campaign generated more than 30 million impressions, increased social media referrals to the Evergreen website by more than 5,000%, and helped increase STI tests performed by 42%.
Evergreen provides comprehensive medical, supportive, and behavioral health services to individuals and families in Western New York.
They specialize in sexual health and working with patients who live with chronic illnesses like HIV or who are underserved or marginalized by the traditional health care system, including the LGBTQ+ community, men who have sex with men, the uninsured, drug users, people with multiple sex partners, sex workers, and more. Evergreen sets itself apart by warmly welcoming all patients; delivering compassionate, judgment-free care in an inclusive and affirming environment; and practicing a harm reduction model, which empowers patients to set their own health goals and make treatment decisions on their terms.
Following a comprehensive brand standards project we completed for Evergreen, we partnered again to develop an integrated ad campaign, including social media and environmental placements, in support of Evergreen’s objectives: grow brand awareness across Western New York, connect with niche audience segments, and increase the number of patients who use their services.
With new brand standards in place, Evergreen had a friendly, dynamic, and eye-catching visual identity genuinely reflective of who they are as an organization, but they needed to bring it to market. An integrated ad campaign that adheres to their brand standards and delivers on-brand messaging promoting the services and brand values that set them apart would reintroduce Evergreen to the community and help them achieve their awareness and growth objectives.
A common denominator among many of Evergreen’s services is sexual health, and a large percentage of Evergreen’s target audience is sexually active. By focusing campaign messaging on sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing—a gateway service—we knew we could drive new patients into Evergreen’s orbit. From there, Evergreen care providers and staff could link them to other Evergreen programs and support services as needed. At the same time, we would promote Evergreen’s important differentiators, including their specialty services (in-house pharmacy, HIV care, PrEP, and hepatitis C treatment) and welcoming environment to raise awareness of Evergreen’s unique health care brand.
To better understand the audiences we would be targeting as well as the intricacies of Evergreen’s internal culture and model of care, we began with a thorough research phase, which included in-depth one-on-one interviews with members of Evergreen’s staff and leadership team and 30 patient interviews moderated by a trained sociologist. The research phases culminated in a report of insights pertaining to our audience’s wants, needs, habits, challenges, and pain points, and recommendations surrounding Evergreen’s strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities as a brand. Patients’ responses regarding their media preferences and transportation habits also confirmed for us that social media and bus shelter/public transportation ads would be among the best ways to reach large swaths of our diverse audience.
Informed by our research, we proceeded to define the campaign audience, identify the campaign’s objectives, and develop its message platform inclusive of tone, key themes, and a single, unifying idea: No matter who you are or what you’re into, Evergreen Health welcomes you to non-judgmental, compassionate medical care on your terms. We captured our findings and recommendations in a foundational document that we presented to Evergreen stakeholders to ensure alignment on the campaign’s direction. With total buy-in, the document served as our north star for the remainder of the project, guiding our creative and strategy decisions and keeping us in lockstep with the Evergreen team from start to finish.
With the campaign’s foundation in place, our designers and copywriters developed and continue to iterate on a robust series of ads for Facebook, Instagram, Grindr, and Scruff; bus shelters in Buffalo, where public transportation is common among our target audience; and billboards in Jamestown, a rural community where our target audience is more likely to travel by car. Each ad is strategically designed to speak to a geotargeted audience segment (for example, men who have sex with men in Jamestown or the transgender community in Buffalo) and correspond with a specific message pillar: STI testing, pharmacy, PrEP, HIV care, hepatitis C treatment, or brand values. Each ad features either proprietary iconography or portraits and videos of real people in local environments—not models—who reflect the diverse communities Evergreen serves.
To optimize ad performance on social media in particular, each digital ad is designed as a short video—which captures attention better than static ads—with the headline appearing within one second to curb view drop-off rates. Furthermore, all of the ads placed on social media are designed to encourage viewers to click through to Evergreen’s website, making website traffic our primary digital KPI.
To ensure our social media ads reach their intended audience, we leveraged each platform’s robust targeting capabilities, which use demographic and psychographic data to deliver the right message to the right people. For environmental ads, we target bus routes and billboards around Evergreen’s clinic locations, along well-traveled thoroughfares, and near events of interest to our target audience such as Buffalo’s Pride festivities.
On an ongoing basis, we revise social media ads as needed to optimize cost per result and drive maximum website traffic. In 2020, we also introduced retargeting ads designed to remind individuals who previously engaged with the campaign that it’s time to schedule their next sexual health screening appointment.
Eighteen months into the campaign, Evergreen’s ads reached 400,000 people in Western New York and earned 60 million impressions. Meanwhile, the campaign’s social media and dating app ads generated more than 100,000 clicks and drove more than 75,000 visitors to Evergreen’s website, up from 750 social media referrals to the website in 2018—a 6,314% increase year over year!
Most importantly, as hypothesized, promoting Evergreen’s sexual health services and brand values increased the number of people using Evergreen’s gateway service, STI testing. One year into our campaign, Evergreen performed a grand total of 10,386 STI tests or 42% more STI tests than they had performed in the same time period the year prior to launching the campaign. And in year two, Evergreen saw patients across all services increase 42%, including a 15% jump in pharmacy customers (a renewed service focus in 2020), reflecting a combined effort between Block Club, Evergreen’s in-house marketing team, and the dedication of the organization’s providers.
- Photography & Videography: Addo Productions
- Photography & Videography: Shawna Stanley