Helping Our Veterans – DAV – Disabled American Veterans

Fulfilling Our Promises
DAV is a nonprofit charity that provides a lifetime of support for veterans of all generations and their families, helping more than 1 million veterans in positive, life-changing ways each year. The organization provides almost 700,000 rides for veterans attending medical appointments and assists veterans with nearly 300,000 benefit claims annually. In 2016, DAV helped attain more than $4 billion in new and retroactive benefits for veterans, their families and survivors.

DAV is also a leader in connecting veterans with meaningful employment, hosting job fairs and providing resources to ensure they have the opportunity to participate in the American Dream their sacrifices have made possible.

With nearly 1,300 chapters and 1.3 million members across the country, DAV empowers our nation’s heroes and their families by helping to provide the resources they need and ensuring our nation keeps the promises made to them.

The underlying theme for DAV’s PSA campaigns is that America made a promise to every one of our veterans – a promise that they would have the opportunity to succeed in civilian life when their tour of duty ended. They were promised a range of healthcare, disability and financial benefits. Yet, far too many of them have to fight for, or don’t even know how to go about accessing, their benefits.

Goodwill Communications began working with DAV and its agency, Crosby Marketing Communications, in 2014 on a campaign: Fulfilling Our Promises. The TV creative approach used dramatic footage from the D-Day invasion at Normandy, Korea, Vietnam and Iraq, ending up with a disabled vet in civilian clothes, whose life has been forever changed due to his injuries.

Promotion

As we do with all our campaigns, we aggressively promoted the DAV campaign by:

  • Posting the TV PSAs to the National Association of Broadcasters’ Spot Center download site, as well as our own download site called PSA Digital, both of which were promoted to the media
  • Creating a branded newsletter that was sent to all TV stations on our distribution list
  • Using our outreach specialist to contact 15 national TV networks to pitch the DAV PSAs
  • Placing the DAV TV PSAs in special media outlets such as Walmart’s Check Out Channel which reaches 39 million monthly viewers in 550 of their big box retail stores

Distribution
Using our standard distribution plan for broadcast outlets, the DAV TV and radio PSAs were sent to just under 4,500 TV and radio stations.

Additionally, a new component was added to the campaign – placement of out-of-home posters. Over 1,500 posters were placed in major urban markets, including transit (bus and subway) posters throughout the Washington DC Metro Area Transit Authority (WMATA), and Atlanta Hartsfield airport, the busiest in the world, with 91 million annual passengers. Of these posters, 1,130 most were in the top 25 markets, and the rest were primarily in the top 100 markets, covering 86% of the U.S. population.

Different Creative; Greater Results

The 2016 campaign took a different direction, focusing on specific individuals who have conquered their service-related injuries and are leading productive lives, thanks to assistance from DAV.

Due to successes in 2014-2015, the 2016 campaign was expanded, particularly in the outdoor arena, and led to our placing thousands of posters which contributed millions in donated media value.

Of these posters, 86% were placed in the top 100 markets.

Included in these impressive results were two posters measuring 24’x 35’ towering over Times Square in the heart of Manhattan where 400,000 people traverse every day and have very high donated media values.

In addition to our normal national cable network outreach, we also contacted the “big four” broadcast networks, which rarely use externally produced PSAs. Two of them – ABC and CBS –supportedthe DAV PSAs, at the network level and were worth millions in donated media value.

Of the TV PSAs used locally, 73% were used in the top 100 markets and 81% aired in the best dayparts.