Hawaii Meals on Wheels Ad2 Honolulu public service campaign (2005).


Since today was all about cleaning up our office, I thought I’d go through my desk drawers….some of which I hadn’t opened in years.  For those of you who think it’s because I’m a slacker that’s only partly true.  I actually keep most of what I need on top of my desk or in my cabinet drawers next to my desk.

Anyway, inside one of these drawers was a hanging folder labeled Ad 2 Honolulu.  I checked out the contents and it was all of my presentation notes and files from my 2005 American Advertising Federation (AAF) conference in Nashville, Tennessee.  I figure I should at least post our oral competition dialogue since it won the 2005 National Ad 2 Oral Public Service Competition.

For those of you who don’t know what Ad 2 or rather what Ad 2 National is, it’s a division of the American Advertising Federation.  Membership is composed of young working professionals or aspiring students 32-years of age or younger.  These individuals either work in advertising and it’s related fields or have an interest in it.  There are 25 Ad 2 chapters scattered throughout the United States including Honolulu, Tampa Bay, Houston, San Francisco and Washington D.C. just to name a few.

Each year, an Ad 2 chapter selects one non-profit organization and provides them with a fully-integrated, pro-bono marketing campaign complete with advertising, production, media and public relations.   If you are a non-profit representative reading this, you can apply for the campaign here.  The call for applications is normally in June/July but contact an Ad 2 representative to confirm.

Once the campaign is nearing the end of it’s planning & execution, the Ad 2 chapters send in write-ups based on the club achievement competition guidelines.  My memory is a little rusty but I believe there are several categories including: diversity, membership, government relations, communications, public service, advertising education, club management and programs.  The clubs will also send representatives to the annual AAF conference to compete in the oral public service presentation on behalf of their client.

In 2005 myself, Jenny Alessandrelli and Dana Gyllen represented Ad 2 Honolulu in the oral presentation at the competition on behalf of our non-profit client Hawaii Meals on Wheels (HMOW).

I’d like to stress that although the 3 of us presented the campaign and won…winning was a culmination of hard work and collaboration from other club members.  Especially those who stuck it out for the long haul.  Let me take the time to recognize Song Choi, Jocelyn Lee, Brent & Celeste Shiratori (Celebrent), Heidi Kimura, Lawton Mak, Stephen Guzman, Sean Morris, Brigid Ho (Barcase), Natalie Cook, Gina Baurile, Chivas Dabbs and Andrew Cha.  If I missed you, please forgive me (and thank you!).

Surrounded by some of the ladies of Ad 2 Honolulu (June 2005).


Jenny:  Aloha, for the past 35 years, Ad 2 Honolulu members have committed their time and talent to create a yearlong fully integrated marketing campaign for one of Hawaii’s non-profit agencies.  I’m Jenny Alessandrelli.

Brandon:  I’m Brandon Suyeoka.

Jenny:  And the woman behind the scenes is Ad 2 president of the year, Dana Lehman (Gyllen).

Brandon:  To start this year’s campaign, we formed a team of committed Ad 2 members to plan and execute what Ad 2 Honolulu does best…

Jenny:  Create a campaign that makes a difference to the clients we work with.

Brandon:  We sent our Request for Applications to Honolulu’s two major daily newspapers and over 55 organizations responded.

Jenny:  Choosing a worthy organization wasn’t an easy task.

Brandon:  We looked at the different social issues addressed and after carefully considering the needs of our community, we felt we found the right fit.

Jenny:  Between 1970 and 2000, the number of older adults in Hawaii increased by 207%

Brandon:  According to a recent article, Hawaii has the fastest growing rate of senior citizens in the nation.

Jenny:  These are big issues, too big for a single campaign.  So we took the larger issue and focused it to a point where our members could relate to it, and positively impact it.

Brandon:  We decided to tackle the issue of an aging population by addressing the need <pause> of one hot meal.

Jenny:  It doesn’t sound like much, does it? But when you are a homebound individual, isolated, alone and have difficulty getting out of your own home, one hot meal can make all the difference.

Brandon:  As their tagline says, Hawaii Meals on Wheels not only provides fresh, hot, nutritious meals… they also provide regular personal interaction.  And they do this, 5 days a week to Hawaii’s “homebound.”

Jenny:  They began in 1979 with only $25, two small delivery routes, six clients and six volunteers.

Brandon:  Today, they have expanded the service to over 250 clients and 31 routes.

Jenny:   Helping individuals disabled by age or illness, preserve their independence and their dignity by living at home.

Brandon:  Their modest staff of 5 works out of a donated classroom in a local gym…

Jenny:  Yet over the last year, they still managed to serve nearly 230 meals per day.

Brandon:  And this only accounts for a mere fraction of the possible homebound population.

Jenny:  That’s how we knew.

Brandon:  That’s how we decided!

Jenny:  We started a 3 part research program to get a clearer picture on our external environment, assess where Hawaii Meals on Wheels stood as an organization and to establish our campaign goals.

Brandon:  First, secondary research from the US Census Bureau and the Office of Aging, was conducted to investigate the background on the aging situation locally, and nationally.

Jenny:  Second, we commissioned a statewide telephone survey, donated by QMark Research & Polling, to determine current perceptions about aging in Hawaii and the awareness of Hawaii Meals on Wheels and its’ service.

Brandon:  Research showed that 49% of Hawaii residents had heard of Hawaii Meals on Wheels. However, there was vast confusion about what service they actually offered.

Jenny:  36% of people personally knew someone who could benefit from Hawaii Meals on Wheel’s services.

Brandon:  But only 2% believed aging was a relevant social issue in Hawaii.

Jenny:  Finally, to become more familiar with the duties of our client, we underwent volunteer training and conducted in-depth interviews with Hawaii Meals on Wheels.

Brandon:  We joined current volunteers to experience the meal delivery process.

Jenny:  During one of our deliveries we saw a client so excited about his visit from Hawaii Meals on Wheels, he was eagerly waiting for us at the end of his driveway.

Brandon:  As we were leaving, the volunteer informed us that this particular client was there every Monday through Friday, awaiting his scheduled visit from Hawaii Meals on Wheels.

Jenny:  In just that one hour we learned the power of one hot meal. <emphasize!>

Brandon:  Now, for 25 years, Hawaii Meals on Wheels has steadily grown and developed its meal delivery service with success.

Jenny:  So why the need for a marketing campaign we asked?

Brandon:  There were several challenges to overcome, including a great misconception on what service they provide.

Jenny:  There is a false impression that they’re a well-funded statewide organization.

Brandon:  They are commonly asked if they combat hunger or if they deliver take out

Jenny:  But most importantly, as their routes continue to grow with increasing demand, volunteers are becoming less abundant.

Brandon:  Current Hawaii Meals on Wheels clients represent less than 1% off the possible homebound population on the island.

Jenny:  With the number of homebound individuals on the rise, the lack of volunteers was a roadblock to expanding their service.

Brandon:  They needed help, and they called upon Ad 2 for the answers.

Jenny:  Based on our research, interviews and feedback from Hawaii Meals on Wheels, we developed two primary objectives for this campaign.

Brandon:  Our first objective was to increase general awareness of the agency’s service.

Jenny:  Our second objective was to promote volunteer recruitment.

Brandon:  We developed 4 phases to cover all aspects of the campaign, comprised of:

  • Public Relations
  • Advertising
  • Collateral Development

Promotions and Volunteer recruitment

Jenny:  In Phase 1, we sought to raise the general public’s awareness about Hawaii Meals on Wheels and the service they provide.

Brandon:  As well as increase awareness of their volunteer opportunities.

Jenny:  Ad 2 Honolulu launched a public relations campaign, and developed press kits for all of the major media outlets in the market.

Brandon:  We followed up with story pitches to reinforce how aging affects the community as a whole….

Jenny:  And that Hawaii Meal on Wheel’s provides a service that can help Hawaii’s frail and disabled maintain their independence at home.

Brandon:  Results of these efforts included a one-hour interactive radio interview that aired on all 7 Hawaii Clear Channel Stations / a feature story in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin / and a news feature on KITV, Hawaii’s ABC affiliate

Jenny:  To date, these efforts have resulted in nearly a million impressions and more than $375,000 in estimated media value.

Brandon:  In Phase 2, we launched our advertising campaign.

Jenny:  First, using what we learned from the research we established our target audiences and created a core message to build the advertising around.

Brandon:  That Hawaii Meals on Wheels goes beyond, just the meal… It bestows hope, dignity, and independence to its recipients.

Jenny:  To meet our first objective in targeting the general public, we selected TV, radio, print, and outdoor media to reach the largest possible audience.

Brandon:  A TV spot was created to illustrate

• Who they are
• what they do
• and who they serve

Jenny:  The print campaign features a series of three ads with the headlines, “Hope”, “Dignity,” and “Independence”.

Brandon:  A :30 second radio spot was produced to mirror and tie in both the TV spot and our print campaign.

Jenny:  Again with the underlying concept that Hawaii Meals on Wheels service goes beyond just the meal.

Brandon:  While the nature of this client lends itself to billboard advertising, unfortunately it is unavailable in Hawaii…. However, mall signs were produced to reinforce the Print campaign and engender support for the organization.

Jenny:  These signs were placed in geographically targeted locations throughout the island and will result in over 82 million impressions.

Brandon:  In our print and radio flights, we developed a headline to tie in our general awareness campaign with our second objective of recruiting volunteers.

Jenny:  “We’ll provide the meals if YOU deliver the hope.”  By YOU delivering the hope, the headline breathes life into our second objective of recruiting volunteers.

Brandon:  A second TV spot was produced targeting potential volunteers.

Jenny:  We wanted our audience to make a personal connection to the focal character in the spot illustrating that  “This could be someone you know, possibly someone close to you”

Brandon:  We also wanted viewers to understand and witness the gratifying feeling volunteers experience when donating their time to Hawaii Meals on Wheels.

Jenny:  Media was targeted to effectively hit both the mass as well as niche markets.  From our research, we found that the majority of the current volunteer base is composed of church groups and the business community.

Brandon:  To address this, we secured ad placement in both church bulletins and business publications.

Jenny:  Through Ad 2 Honolulu’s continued relationship with local media outlets and because of the worthiness of the cause, we received…

Brandon:  OVER $600,000 worth of TV / Radio / Print / and Outdoor media donations <say it like you guys are bad asses>

Jenny:  In Phase 3, collateral development, we created an updated and unified brand identity to help reinforce Hawaii Meals on Wheels as a viable organization in the community.

Brandon:  To do this, we designed a refreshed logo…

Jenny:  Updated their letterhead, envelopes, business cards, and brochure…

Brandon:  and produced malls stands and car magnets.  These are just some of the tools we designed to help Hawaii Meals on Wheels extend the life of this year-long marketing campaign.

Jenny:  With heightened awareness and refreshed support materials, we began execution of our promotions plan.

Brandon:  Promotional efforts for Phase 4 were designed to increase visibility in the marketplace, establish corporate partnerships and create site-specific volunteer opportunities.

Jenny:  To maximize the impact of our efforts, we kicked off Phase 4 in March, to coincide with national ‘March for Meals’ month.

Brandon:  We built the promotions plan around Ad 2 Honolulu’s Annual fundraising event, Spring Palette, which was developed as a venue to raise awareness of the organization and encourage the participation of our members.

Jenny:  The event entertained over 300 guests and allowed a tie-in to Hawaii Meals on Wheels tagline, ‘Food for the journey, hope for the soul.”

Brandon:  In addition, we secured a state proclamation designating the day of the event as Hawaii Meals on Wheels Day.

Jenny:  Funds that were raised from the event helped to defray the hard costs for this year’s campaign.

Brandon:  Throughout the month of March we carried out our grass roots programs to help Hawaii Meals on Wheels recruit new volunteers and provide them with direct volunteer assistance from our membership.

Jenny:  Ad 2 Honolulu set up and manned volunteer-drive booths in highly targeted locations, chosen according to where our client indicated there was a need for volunteers.

Brandon:  To encourage our members to get more familiar with Hawaii Meals on Wheels, we set up opportunities for members to ride with their volunteers during a meal run.

Jenny:  Ad 2 Honolulu solicited a number of possible partners and arranged for a third-party company to help promote Hawaii Meals on Wheels.

Brandon:  We created an arrangement in which Times Super Market, the third largest supermarket chain in the state, allowed us to place Hawaii Meals on Wheels flyers into grocery bags at checkout during Easter weekend.  One of their busiest shopping weekends of the year.

Jenny:  We also secured a partnership with McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii who donated salads for one of Hawaii Meals on Wheel’s heavier delivery routes.

Brandon:  McDonald’s coupons were also given as an incentive to recruit new volunteers and to reward current volunteers ….

Jenny:  Both Times Super Markets and McDonald’s have agreed to continue these partnerships in the future.

Brandon:  Aligning Hawaii Meals on Wheels with two widely visible corporate sponsors in our local community. <pause>

Jenny:  Planning is a circle and you always have to go back to where you started… with your objectives.

Brandon:  Our objectives for this campaign were to:  Increase awareness of Hawaii Meals on Wheels and its service and Promote Volunteer recruitment.

Jenny:  Thus far the campaign results have been successful.

Brandon:  To date, this campaign has secured over 60,000,000 impressions in a small market of only 850,000 people, and remember… this campaign will continue for 7 more months!

Jenny:  Since the launch of the campaign, Hawaii Meals on Wheels has already received a 20% increase in the number of calls compared to last year.

Brandon:  …and the calls keep coming… with requests for information on how to become a client or a volunteer.

Jenny:  One man was so moved by the volunteer TV commercial that he called within minutes of seeing the spot.  He said it reminded him of his mother playing the piano, and he knew he was meant to be a volunteer.

Brandon:  The media is set, promotions are planned and the affidavits are available in the addendum.

Jenny:  We’re confident this message has been felt and will continue to felt throughout the life of this campaign.

Brandon:  To be certain, post research is scheduled to validate our results.

Jenny:  Armed with comprehensive market research, a new brand identity, and our list of media, PR, and promotional contacts, we’ve given Hawaii Meals on Wheels the tools to sustain visibility in our local market for years to come.

Brandon:  Here’s what Allicyn Tasaka of Hawaii Meals on Wheels, had to say… [play recording of Allicyn]

Jenny:  The campaign is valued at over one million dollars.

Brandon:  Hard costs for campaign production totaled $3,700, all donated by Ad 2 Honolulu.

Jenny:  Cost to client?

Brandon:  Absolutely nothing! And this is just the beginning… thanks to the contribution of Ad 2 Honolulu and the members of District 13….

Jenny:  Hawaii Meals on Wheels, an organization that has worked tirelessly with little to no marketing resources has finally received the notoriety and recognition they deserve.

Brandon:  Mahalo!


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