InnovAge, the nation’s largest provider of Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly, or PACE, wanted to spread the word not just about the quality of care it offers seniors, but about the program in general. PACE is an alternative to nursing home care, but only 3% of eligible seniors are enrolled. InnovAge’s award winning campaign—“We Help You Stay You”—told personal stories of participants in print ads and tapped into the theme song from the 1980s hit TV show “Cheers” to reinforce the message in a video campaign. InnovAge Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Robin Doerr shares how the campaign came about.
MH: PACE has low participation. Why do you think that is?
Doerr: PACE is one of the coolest programs that nobody’s ever heard of.
It’s a complicated program. In advertising, we always talk about putting together an elevator speech and to really talk about PACE, you probably need about 30 floors versus three floors just to explain it.
MH: How did you came up with the “We Help You Stay You” campaign?
Doerr: It’s a cool story. We had been doing some market research over the last couple of years. We talked to caregivers and potential participants. The vast majority of people told us that they ranked a caring environment higher than a senior-care facility that’s providing good medical care. There was really a differentiation.
Both caregivers and participants said, “I just want to know that people are going to smile at me. I want (them) to know who I am as a person.”
When participants come into our centers, everyone from the bus driver to the receptionist knows their first name and maybe we’ll ask them, “Oh, hi Lillian, how’s your sister?” Or, “How are your piano lessons?”
Our creative team was touring several of our PACE facilities and the head creative director of the agency we work with indicated that the “Cheers” song—“Where Everybody Knows Your Name”—kept going through his head. He thought, “No, too kitschy.” Then the more he thought about it, it became a concept that he pitched. And just given what we know about research and given what we know about how we wanted to tell unique participants’ stories, the platform felt perfect.