When a conversation is indelibly inked in your mind, it’s because what was said and who said it, mattered. Maybe not to everyone. . . But it mattered to you.  And, when you have something important to say – regardless of whether it’s to a good friend or a customer – you want people to stop and pay attention. Simply stated… that represents our communications goal each and every time.

 

How do we do it?

First, we get to know your audience, as well as you know your closest friends. We collect extensive research – and focus our lens on its most salient points. We then craft simple, powerful messages that compel action. This approach has led to highly effective campaigns for a range of initiatives – from boosting attendance at the Preakness Stakes to raising awareness of human trafficking to helping Michael Bloomberg secure three consecutive NYC mayoral terms. And, we don’t just inspire people to think and act differently here at home, we also do it around the world.

Resurrecting a brand

Elevation has directed many rebranding initiatives, all of which go far beyond simply updating a strategy, website and logo. It also has to do with infusing a sense of belief, vision and conviction to a particular mission. One example is our work for the Maryland Jockey Club (MJC) and its legendary Preakness Stakes, which in early 2000’s, had devolved from an Internationally renowned event to a day of debauchery and overflowing Porta Potties. So much so, that it was evident that from a partnership/sponsorship side of things… Corporate America wanted nothing to do with it.  At its lowest, the state of Maryland was in jeopardy of losing the event all together. To resurrect MJC and The Preakness brand, it became evident that mindsets needed to change from the inside, out first! We simply had to remind the dedicated employees of MJC of the intrinsic value of event they brought to the world each and every year… to indeed believe that it was the “Middle Jewel” of Racings Triple Crown and more importantly, that IT WAS the most important of the three races.  Beyond that, we celebrated its iconic truths and presented it to the public in fresh, new, irreverent, classy, memorable and positive tones.  From the development and introduction of the International Pavilion, the birth of INFIELDFEST, Turfside Terrace and Mug and Vine and Kegasus…  the results and buzz began from the get go.  Fortune 500 partners soon jumped on board and the pride of Maryland was once again The Preakness Stakes.  Proudly, we state, that since Elevation joined the family… attendance at the Preakness Stakes climbed from 78,000 to over 130,000. See Campaign Examples

Connecting the Human Experience

Campaigns that connect to our collective struggles, emotions, and dreams make people stop, listen, and react. Elevation’s ability to transform research-based insights into compelling campaigns is seen in our work on the No Mas Cruces en la Frontera (No more crossings/crosses on the Border (NMC) campaign for the U.S. Border Patrol. What began with weeks in various parts of Mexico, doing anthropological research, led to an award-winning and internationally revered campaign filled with the honest emotions of the human plight.  From memorable PSA’s to the creation of the renowned and stirring Migracorridos, or folk songs, that told the heart-wrenching immigrant story and which gained substantial free airplay throughout Mexico – two songs were even nominated for Mexico’s grammy’s. This success led DHS to task Elevation with the development of an International campaign that confronted human trafficking head on.  To re-brand and re-introduce its BLUE CAMPAIGN as the definitive Protagonist in the fight against this insidious atrocity. Most recently, as the Southwestern border crisis escalated, Elevation responded with a turnkey solution for DHS and CBP to address nuances of the crisis and its expanded markets. The release of “La Bestia” – an outgrowth of the Migracorridos strategy – hit number one on the charts. The NMC campaign has proven to be adaptable, iconic and effective even now, 10 years after its launch. See Campaign Examples

Swaying Opinions

While our creative may end up being humorous or lighthearted, our strategies are always deeply rooted in substantive insights gleaned from tangible data… we call it Inspiration with Insight!  As an example, CBP’s Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) was about improving border security. But research showed that the critical pain-point for travelers was the time and hassle of crossing the border. So, it quickly became clear that a “fear-based” or heavy handed law enforcement approach would not succeed. We advocated for an effort that focused on the efficiency and ease of travel that the WHTI documents would deliver. When CBP initially launched the campaign in 2008, less than 25% of frequent travelers had heard of WHTI. By 2011, our efforts resulted in more than 10 million travelers obtaining radio frequency identification (RFID)-enabled, WHTI-compliant cards; and average compliance rates as high as 98% nationwide. See Campaign Examples

Changing the Rules

Sometimes, making people stop and think requires switching it up, changing the rules. That’s the tactic we’ve taken on high profile political campaigns where we’ve diverged from the typical spate of negative ads. For example, we helped Michael Bloomberg become the NYC Mayor and win the re-election two more times. For all three campaigns, the challenge involved galvanizing Latino voters. At one point, it even meant overcoming a Latino opponent. Similarly, when we were called in to support the Obama for President campaign we developed concepts, which focused on the healing of America – with “there’s a new Doctor in the house.” This strategy enabled the focus of our messages to be positive and hopeful, rather than negative and laden with mud-slinging. See Campaign Examples

Making it Matter

Frequently, Elevation’s challenge is to influence a range of audiences to take better care of themselves and to develop healthier habits. Such was the case in our work for the American Lung Association (ALA), where we were charged with targeting African Americans, Hispanics, Lesbians/Gays/Bisexuals/Transgenders (LGBTs), and at-risk youth. Because each audience had distinct motivators and a different set of values/beliefs, Elevation pursued a uniquely targeted approach for each. In all of these distinctly different campaign approaches, Elevation made it matter for each target audience. See Campaign Examples