Monday, July 9, 2012

Marketing the Holocaust

As a crew of self-professed healthcare marketing junkies, we know we have a triple challenge to:

  • engage
  • educate
  • encourage people to take action 

Like the rest of the extroverts at our agency, I don’t back down from a challenge. But when I took on marketing to 3rd generation Holocaust survivors in Boston, I thought I might have met my match.

You see, in 2009, my wife, friends, and I started a support group in Boston for Holocaust survivors’ grandchildren (3rd Generation) called Boston 3G. Marketing was my task.

Tough subject to market.

I was striking out until I considered the success of flash mobs at attracting attention. Could that work for us?

On May 29th, at 1:20 pm (to honor the 1.2 million children who died in the Holocaust), our group of 115 people froze on cue, right in the middle of Boston’s Fanueil Hall.

For six minutes—to honor the six million who perished—we held our poses, taking time to:
  • remember 
  • honor the memory of family members
  • be thankful that we live in a country where we are free to practice our religion as we choose
  • reflect on our own lives  

Was it a success?

One way to measure? Listen to the typical conversations among tourist families, like this one:

“Mommy, what are they doing?” asked an elementary-school kid in his newly purchased Cheers t-shirt, the tag still flopping out of his back collar.

“It looks like they are remembering the Holocaust,” she answered, after reading one of our green t-shirts.

“Mommy, what's the Holocaust?”

That sure sounded like success to us.

Marketing the Holocaust presented a tricky, triple set of challenges, to:
  • engage
  • educate
  • encourage people to take action

Sound familiar?

Striving for success is what we do as extroverts. It is our indefatigable desire to make a difference, with just the right balance of:
  • information
  • imagery
  • imagination

All to leave an impression on the people that get touched by our work.

Thanks for letting us share.

1 comment:

  1. The question is whether a concept like brand management is really appropriate here.