The fact that our last national campaign was the first time United Methodist Communications produced a national campaign independently of our advertising agency marks a pretty big milestone for us!
Though the ads have now stopped running as not to get lost in the political season, its the perfect time to look back at this new venture for the agency.
The internal ad team was debating how we would move forward with advertising this summer/fall because the spots we created last year were really not relevant to what people are going through right now. Though we did adjust the existing “Loneliness” spot in late spring to portray our social distanced world by swapping footage of Aileen Jimenez connecting with her church community in person to that of a virtual Bible study.
I pitched the idea of acknowledging the reality. Over-and-over I was hearing “What a Year!” So, that was the impetus for the spot. The creative approach involved using stark black-and-white images and transitioning to color footage with hopeful storylines. We had a very short time-frame to accomplish the creative and we were resourceful in how we did it.
The production team was a huge help! Steven Adair offered his church Glendale UMC (once again) for shooting. Mike DuBose handled our photography needs. We used a lot of talent from our staff (Ryan Dunn, Paul Gomez, Kathryn Price, Sheila Harrison, Steven and Troy Dossett as art director). My daughter, Honour McDaniel, is in the first image (looking out the blinds) – shot at Troy’s house. The young man delivering groceries and voicing the commercial is Helen Allen’s nephew. Aileen was on site to assist. For Instagram, Paul voiced the track. Stacey Hagewood and Harry Leake served on production. As in the past, Ricky Barrow edited it. Meanwhile, Troy and Laura Buchanan went into overdrive to produce a plethora of digital ads.
Midway into production, it was decided to add a photo that depicted economic distress. The empty United Methodist Communications office made for a great backdrop and Paul served as our talent as a man who had packed up his office belongings, reflecting his distress. This was shot by Mike, too. (You may recognize the setting as the space formerly occupied by Brenda Smotherman and Linda Bruner.)
We think this is just the beginning and are looking forward to the possibility of bringing the creative in-house more often. In short, it was a game-changer for United Methodist Communications!
Now that you know more about the campaign, check out one of the video ads for yourself on the Rethink Church YouTube channel.