Last week, we launched our first marketing campaign in Denver, CO. We’ve partnered with LRXD, a health and happiness advertising agency, to introduce our approach to the community. We sat down with Becca Hade, Account Director, and Ashley Rutstein, Associate Creative Director, to talk about the campaign, our partnership and their creative process.
FIT: What was your first impression of Face It TOGETHER? Was there anything that stuck out to you?
Becca: Initially what jumped out to us was the difference in the positioning and approach of your coaching versus those that we’re more accustomed to hearing about. Your perspective on sobriety and how that’s not the entire story is really interesting and differentiated. And the fact that you have this peer-to-peer coaching model is really impressive and moving.
FIT: Could you speak to how Face It TOGETHER fits into your commitment to health and happiness?
Ashley: As an ad agency, normally you want to go after every business you can, but we approach things differently. We want to make sure every client we work with is someone that has the same values as we do. And health and happiness – it’s a way for us to filter out the accounts that might be really fun for someone else, but there isn’t something more to them. We want to work with people that are changing the world in some way or bringing joy to people in unexpected ways. And Face It TOGETHER had both aspects of it. You’re helping someone’s health but you’re also re-introducing joy into their world by helping them face this struggle they’ve been going through for so long. So it just felt like a natural fit for us.
FIT: What are some of the challenges to taking on the Face It TOGETHER campaign, especially considering that your team doesn’t normally work with nonprofits or addiction-related businesses?
Ashley: I think it’s just a heavy subject matter; this is really emotional stuff. You have to approach it in a sensitive way – these are real people facing real problems. We want the creative to be something they can really relate to and not feel like we’re selling something. Being authentic and real was really important to us for this kind of project.
FIT: What excited you about working on this campaign?
Ashley: As a writer, I like making people feel things. I tend to write in humorous tones, but switching gears and doing something like this was really rewarding. It put me in a different state of mind while I was writing. I will admit it was tough to put myself in these people’s shoes and experience their struggles in order to write something authentic. But it was really exciting for me – I like taking on different viewpoints and learning about things I don’t really know a lot about. So that was really rewarding to experience this.
FIT: Could you talk about what went into the campaign creative?
Ashley: When we came out of Two Weeks to Truth – our brand strategy process – we had that really strong positioning around the idea that there’s more to recovery than sobriety. That was a huge thing for us – it really kicked off our creative in a great way. The campaign that came out of that focuses on the struggle of starting over and over and over again, trying to stay sober. Like you said in Two Weeks to Truth, it’s easy to fail if you only focus on sobriety. To convey that in the advertising, we wanted to show the raw emotion of the struggle that comes with starting over and over again. So we created this spot that is very simple – it’s just someone starting at day one. And it’s day one again, and then the next day is day one, and then the next day is day one. He keeps having to start over because he’s only focusing on sobriety. I think a lot of PSAs would focus on the opposite side of that and say, “Here’s how Face It TOGETHER helped you get better.” While that is great, I think showing this kind of shocking, gut-punching emotion of the beginning stages is really powerful. I think we’ll capture people’s attention, especially the loved ones of people who are struggling with addiction, because they’ve seen this. I think it’ll be something really relatable that people will gravitate toward.
FIT: Is there anything you’d like to add?
Becca: Overall we’re just really, really excited to work with Face It TOGETHER for all the reasons Ashley mentioned. We’re really pleased with the outcome of the work. You never really know what you’re going to get when you go into something like this, but having such a pointed and strong, strategic origin was really key. I think that helped us to develop such amazing work. During the concepting round, we had about six or seven different directions coming from one strategic territory, which isn’t something you see all the time. Usually we’re lucky if we get two or three different areas. So, I think it all goes back to partnering with a brand that is doing the right thing in the right ways, and then being able to articulate that strategically in a very smart and pointed way.