Spike TV had a history of supporting the military through their Salute The Troops campaign, which focused primarily on honoring troops at Red Carpet events and giving them shout-outs at Spike award shows.
Our challenge was to reframe Spike’s existing pro-social initiative and give it real world impact.
We understood that veteran unemployment was going to become a critical issue facing the country and that Spike, with its trusted voice in the military space, could use its media platforms to elevate an important message: thanking our troops for their service is not enough, they need jobs and make outstanding employees.
Spike could salute companies that were hiring veterans on-air and on-line, and in turn, other companies would be motivated to do the same. With an umbrella campaign shared among partners, Spike could unify a fractured veteran employment space.
By convening multiple stakeholders, Spike could have a signiﬁcant and measurable impact on veteran unemployment.
A 5 year goal was set and a comprehensive plan was formulated to meet that goal including: potential partnerships, messaging, PR, event planning, content creation and distribution.
Spike’s parent company Viacom would not only have to support the initiative but change their own internal hiring practices related to Veterans. They did both. Our team members worked closely with Spike’s in-house creative, digital, ad-sales, art and PR departments in order to leverage their experience, resources and talent as the campaign was launched.
We sought and realized partnerships with many NGOs and corporations, including Hire Heroes USA, Citibank, GE, Pepsi and BestBuy, among others.
They shared the vision, and their support was critical in spreading the message.
• Created the title of the campaign: “Hire A Veteran”
• Supervised visual identity of the initiative: the mark we developed was used online, on-air, in print and via our partners to brand “Hire a Veteran” on their own sites
• Collaborated with Spike PR and marketing on all releases, as well as print & outdoor advertising
• Produced content including PSAs featuring veterans, CEOs, celebrities, NFL players, and even Call of Duty characters.
• Oversaw design and building of the hireavet.spike.com website
• Spike’s website has become an online hub where veterans (and their families) can ﬁnd campaign partners, and vice versa.
• Content distributed online, on-air (Spike as well as sister networks including Comedy Central), and in Times Square
• Facebook and Twitter accounts of existing Spike shows and stars leveraged for social media distribution
• HireAVet content and messaging featured at Spike tent pole events.
• Employees and Management rallied around initiative increasing morale and motivation. Hire A Vet was focal point of Spike’s Annual Town Hall meeting
• Ad-Sales leveraged initiative to enhance existing sponsorship relationships and create new ones
• Tentpole events planned around Hire A Vet combining celebrity appearances, musical guests and job fairs
• Fortune 500 companies and small businesses alike were recognized for hiring veterans
• Veterans organizations with limited resources were given nationwide exposure leading to increased funding and impact in the veteran hiring space
• Businesses across the country have been inspired by the initiative to hire veterans
Spike TV wanted to evolve its long-term commitment to veterans from the “Hire a Veteran” campaign to focus on issues of veterans health and wellness. Having worked with Spike TV since 2011 on veterans initiatives, we were challenged to develop the campaign concept and messaging, then to follow through with content, partnerships and experiential engagements.
Found Object needed to build on Spike’s existing commitment, and discover an ideal engagement point for a new commitment to veterans health and wellness.
Spike’s megaphone could be used to elevate the issue of veterans health and wellness through compelling narratives and meaningful experiential engagements to connect civilians and veterans. Focusing on community-based fitness organizations and programs, Spike could help deliver meaningful stories and real world approaches that would address underlying health challenges in the veteran community.
Beginning with medical research and analysis, followed by outreach to veterans service organizations focused on veterans health, we shaped messaging, content and engagements that would build on Spike’s reach and commitment.
Veterans Operation Wellness (VOW) was launched in 2014, and is comprised of Found Object created on-air PSAs, a VOW microsite and regular community engagement activations we build to encourage veterans and citizens to make “vows” to their health.
Leveraging the Spike on-air megaphone, we work with trusted partners such as Team Red White and Blue and the Clinton Foundation on experiential activations that connects veterans and civilians.
Deploying powerful veteran narratives and leveraging partnership events, VOW has become a trusted platform for engagements with the varied communities Spike touches: Viacom employees, Spike viewers, citizens and most of all, veterans.