Death is another matter

19 Oct

When you’re creating ads for funeral homes you have to fight off several stubborn mindsets.

> One is holding to the idea that humour might somehow work. Trust me, it won’t work.

> Another is believing that the ads must necessarily speak to someone who has just suffered a loss. The advertising needs to build brand awareness, or brand memory, which people often rely on in stressful times. It doesn’t need to be dripping sympathy.

> The other predictable mental misstep is getting lost in the tonality and forgetting that a funeral home is a business. Business success requires clearly differentiated products, services, service levels and and/or brand personality.

Bearing those in mind, we offer up our new campaign for McCall Bros. Funeral Directors, which continues to focus on McCall’s strategic edge: the unique level of  personalization they bring to funeral services and receptions.

Creative team:  Brad Felt, Andrea Merson, Diana Walter and your humble scribe.

(2011 Campaign)




6 Responses to “Death is another matter”

  1. Janis La Couvée October 19, 2010 at 6:55 am #

    Speaking as a person who has “lost” many loved ones in the past decade, your campaign for McCalls is elegant, classy and, most of all, – celebratory of the uniqueness of human life.

    It’s a real challenge to find the right words.


  2. Brian October 19, 2010 at 7:00 am #

    Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust

    That is one subject that I plan not to take into consideration since as far “I’m concerned” cemetery’s are a waste of good real estate just like golf courses ( I will probably get email on that one). No just a plain old high heat blast furnace for this soul and I’ll be happy and my ashes spread where they won’t pollute the environment to much or just haul my carcass out to some place where the varmints can devour it.

  3. dougbrowncreative October 19, 2010 at 7:27 am #

    > Janis thank you so much. That means a lot.

    > I can see the next ad in the campaign: a carcass in the woods being devoured by foul creatures: That was SO Brian.

  4. maureen blaseckie October 19, 2010 at 9:35 am #

    Just wanted to say well done. No matter how brave a face we put on, we are at our most vulnerable when handing over a parent or sibling or child to the care of a funeral home. Trust is vital. These ads strike that note; we need to mourn our loss but also to be able to smile at the memories. Laughter is healing but it has to come from the heart. That is what you’ve managed to convey here so well.

    Once again less is more.

    As a side note to Brian, I’d encourage you to give some thought to what you want done with your carcass. You won’t have to deal with it but people you love will. Trust me in this, they will be struggling with so many emotions that any hint you can give about where in the out back of beyond you’d like to be left will be gratefully received. Lake side or gravel lot? Seriously, even if you just write down you’d like a green burial, no embalming and no service…or cremation and scattered on the beach, it makes a huge difference. The consideration you take is not for yourself but for them.

    *steps off orange crate, does quick soft shoe with ta-da finish and exits stage left*

  5. dougbrowncreative October 19, 2010 at 3:40 pm #

    Thank you Moe. More than any client I have worked on, creating funeral service advertising is a delicate art. David McCall is a remarkable client. He is always caught off guard by our advertising but he goes with it. We try very hard never to put his business in a difficult position as a result of our ads. This is one business where you need to know your line in the sand.

    I would also encourage Brian to specify the woods where he wants his carcass dumped.

  6. stopsmokingbc October 19, 2010 at 4:02 pm #

    Well at the moment, my first choice would probably be in the middle of the Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park, but who’s to say where I’ll be when I kick the bucket, but I hear it’s illegal to do this so I’ll have to go for the blast furnace and my ashes spread.

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