Reframing a problem to create an opportunity
45 second television
Aveo is one of Australia’s leading providers of retirement and aged care communities, with over 90 communities across Australia. Operating in a sector where public trust is at an all-time low and frequently under the microscope of government scrutiny, the industry at large continues to face major brand challenges.
In mid-2017 Aveo was the subject of an intense 6-month ‘special investigation’ undertaken jointly by the ABC television program 4 Corners and the Fairfax Media newspapers the Melbourne Age and the Sydney Morning Herald. The program raised legitimate areas of concern, which Aveo were quick to address. But it also featured the opinions of disgruntled ex-residents which had the effect of generating negative sentiment about the brand. The resulting fallout created an unprecedented crisis, with sales dropping 40% and the share price by 30%. In concert with the newly-appointed crisis management specialists Edelman PR, we were tasked with developing a campaign to help the company restore its public standing and reignite sales enquiry.
Aveo had chosen to be conservative in their public relations response to the negative publicity, initially responding to questions from journalists primarily in written form. Whilst effective, this left them open to criticism that they were being ‘evasive’ and not ‘direct’ with their audience.
With this in mind, Leap Agency developed a campaign featuring an Aveo ‘presenter’, addressing our audience directly. This ‘look them in the eye’ approach added to the impact of the campaign and allowed us to effectively communicate that the company was both proud of its industry-leading achievements as well as its newly-introduced improvements. The presenter character focused the campaign around a single powerful voice which was employed across all media platforms, including television, radio, press, online, outdoor and social media.
Combined with a related publicity campaign from Edelman that targeted both consumer and trade media, our campaign allowed Aveo to regain sales momentum, with almost all sales metrics returning to levels forecast prior to the crisis. Additionally, they made a strong start in repairing the reputational damage made by the crisis. This is harder to quantify and involves more than just marketing communications, but the company feels it is now back ‘on the front foot’.
Importantly, the campaign’s decision to use a presenter has also started a new conversation internally at Aveo around their brand personality; an important input into future campaigns for the brand.
The campaign was awarded Silver for Innovation in Cross Media Marketing at the 2018 Steve Awards (Asia Pacific).