Found at Church

I recently worked on the strategy side of a really exciting new campaign for Eagle Brook Church–and I just want to share about it! It’s so fun when every once in a great while, a project comes along where you feel like you’re using all of your talents, you’re getting to work with some of the coolest and most skilled thinkers and doers you’ve ever come across, and the end product turns out to be something you’re really proud of. Found at Church was just that!

Like most churches, we typically we do some external advertising around Easter. But as we sat around a table talking about how to reach our target audience, we realized something pretty key. People already know that Easter is coming. We’re a church. No one needs us to let them know that we’re having Easter services. It’s the world’s biggest no-brainer.

Here’s where we started:

AUDIENCE: The somewhat-churched, the open-to-church, the desperate seekers, the two-timers (Easter and Christmas), the casual churchgoers. Anyone who is a little bit familiar with Christianity and what this time of year means.

DEMOGRAPHIC: 25-55 years old. Male and female. culturally diverse. Tech-savvy. Baby Busters (1965-1980), Gen X (1975-1985), Gen Y/Millennials (1978-1990). Suburban and first-ring urban commuters. Public transit users.

METHOD: Focus on public transportation advertising opportunities. Engage current attenders in all-church, “I Found ______” invitation initiative that aligns with external ads and will continue past the Easter season. Website at foundatchurch.com generates content from attender social media engagement with #foundatchurch. External ads promote foundatchurch.com.

So instead of blabbing on billboards and direct mail pieces about how fantastic our Easter services will be (and they will be…) we made the decision to simply ask people who’ve experienced God change their life through attending church to tell others–What have you found at church?

We launched with this video and caption on Instagram and Facebook:

“What have you found at church? Wisdom? Friendship? Acceptance? Whatever you’ve found, post it from your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts using #foundatchurch. Your stories tell the stories of Eagle Brook Church and show others what they can find here, too!

Throughout the month of March, your #foundatchurch posts will show up at foundatchurch.com. Take a look, share your story and, together, let’s tell others of Jesus’ incredible love.”

Last weekend, we passed out Found at Church cards after services at every campus, and aired this video before services–specifically, at :41 in. (Yeah, that just so happens to be me yammering on about stuff. Again.)

Attenders have been posting what they’ve found at church for one week–and we’re already seeing great engagement. It’s very exciting!

(By the way…I love making Flipagrams. Pairing music with imagery is one of my favorite things in the world!)

My lovely friend (and EBC graphic designer) Kellie Cornell designed an incredible range of ads for us to use on social media and in external channels.

Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 1.39.24 PM

We have seen great ROI when advertising through public transit channels over the last year or so. This time, we decided to focus more heavily than we previously have on targeting suburban and first-ring urban commuters.

By targeting suburban and first-ring urban commuters who utilize public transit, we have the unique ability to specifically speak to people who live near our campuses without using direct mail which has historically proven to have a very poor ROI, or digital billboards, which are very expensive with very low impressions.

Buses with EBC advertisements are specifically assigned to run through our campus communities, through both Minneapolis and St. Paul downtowns, back to suburban park-and-rides and neighborhood stops. Riders become familiar with the ads as they see them repeatedly for five weeks on their buses. Pedestrians, many of whom are suburban car-commuters, become familiar with the ads as buses pass by downtown.

Those waiting at bus shelters will become familiar with the poster ads, connecting them visually with the bus tails and the interior bus ads.(I LOVE CONNECTEDNESS!!!)

Ten transit shelter ads will also rotate throughout downtown Minneapolis over the course of the four weeks leading up to Easter.

I’m really excited to watch this campaign evolve past the Easter season. Melissa Therrien, Kellie Cornell, Eva Zellmer, Mike Hadley, Andrew Broshat, Amy Overgaard, Shannon Nelson–it was so much fun collaborating!

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