A storied
community organization
writes a
new story

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Once upon a time, United Way of Greater Rochester (UWGR) could count on meeting most of its annual giving goals thanks to the considerable support of the employees of Rochester’s Big Three: Bausch + Lomb, Kodak and Xerox. But no longer. Of the three, only Xerox remains strong. A demographic shift was impacting the annual campaign, as well. Many older donors (who tended to give almost automatically) had retired and weren’t able to give at the levels they once had. Clearly, UWGR needed to adopt a new approach.

UWGR asked DS to help it take a fresh look at its brand and develop a new marketing campaign. We undertook a complete brandincite—our process of analysis and discovery for creating a new brand or rejuvenating an existing one. We began by identifying key differentiators, as well as functional and emotional benefits. Then, we articulated the character (or tone) of the brand and outlined how the organization will keep its new brand promise. For that, we crafted a simple, yet powerful, phrase:

Changing Lives.

After UWGR had embraced this new brand promise, we set to work creating broadcast spots to encourage giving from the community at large. From a range of TV concepts, UWGR opted for a campaign idea we called “If I could change the world.” If UWGR stood for Changing Lives, why not invite people to think about how they would go about it? This inclusive approach directly engaged the audience to consider our community’s challenges and needs. The TV spots employed a chalkboard to deliver the message in a deliberately less polished but more natural fashion.

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