WE CAN’T WAIT

Until This Is Over.

WE CAN’T WAIT

Until This Is Over.

For the Public Good

Every 90 minutes someone is diagnosed and someone else dies from ALS. It’s a terrible, terminal disease that slowly robs people of their ability to move, speak, eat, and eventually, breathe. 

For the last three and half decades, The ALS Association has been the only national non-profit fighting ALS on every front. But with a significant percentage of its funding coming from in-person events, COVID-19 has hit hard.

Now more than ever, do Americans know what it feels like to have their movements restricted. Though the world may feel like it’s on pause during this epic and ongoing health crisis, ALS remains relentless.

Bugle was proud to partner with The ALS Association during the height of the global pandemic to create We Can’t Wait, an integrated digital campaign. One that would raise awareness of this rare disease during one of the rarest moments in our history.

Woman standing, When this is over campaign poster example

Every 90 minutes someone is diagnosed and someone else dies from ALS. It’s a terrible, terminal disease that slowly robs people of their ability to move, speak, eat, and eventually, breathe. 

For the last three and half decades, The ALS Association has been the only national non-profit fighting ALS on every front. But with a significant percentage of its funding coming from in-person events, COVID-19 has hit hard.

Now more than ever, do Americans know what it feels like to have their movements restricted. Though the world may feel like it’s on pause during this epic and ongoing health crisis, ALS remains relentless.

Bugle was proud to partner with The ALS Association during the height of the global pandemic to create We Can’t Wait, an integrated digital campaign. One that would raise awareness of this rare disease during one of the rarest moments in our history.

Woman standing, When this is over campaign poster example
ALS we can't wait campaign photo of little girls holding a 'help find a cure for als' sign

Why We Can’t Wait

As infection rates soared across the county, many of us were reminded of the everyday things we used to take for granted. Hanging out with friends and family. Going to dinner and a show. Walking through crowded streets. And even shaking hands with a stranger.

But life will not ‘go back to normal’ for people with ALS. The unfortunate truth is that when this pandemic is over, there will still be more than 20,000 Americans living with the daily fear that one day they will lose their fight to this disease. We can’t wait to act.

Drawing parallels between everyday people and those families living with ALS, We Can’t Wait uses empathy to bring these communities together through a uniquely shared experience and the hopeful return to life when this is over.

MUSE Creative Awards Platinum Winner

We’re proud to announce that out of nearly 5,000 entries from more than 57 countries, our campaign PSA has been selected as a 2020 Platinum Award Winner in the video for non-profit category by the prestigious International Awards Association (IAA), and the Adobe and Microsoft Affiliate, MUSE Creative Awards Grand Jury Panel.

Campaign PSA

At the center of our campaign, we wrote and produced When This Is Over, a :60 second national Public Service Announcement, across The ALS Association’s owned media channels, and donated media commitments. Featuring music by The Killers and Oscar-winning VO talent, the PSA inspires viewers to learn about the deadly disease, and drives traffic to a campaign donation page. :30, :15 and :06 second cutdowns were also produced as companion content for organic and paid social activities.

To maximize the reach of each video, we executed a paid social campaign optimized for awareness with 18-35 year olds in domestic regions most affected by COVID. A robust social influencer outreach program was delivered with calls-to-action to like and share our content on their channels.

Still image from ALS When This Is Over PSA video
ALS Instagram story quiz examples We Can't Wait Campaign

Inspiring Engagement

The PSA launch kickstarted a 12-week social media campaign aimed at engaging, educating, and inspiring a new generation of ALS Association supporters and advocates. 

Our content strategy included 13 post types tailored for specific channels. These ranged from powerful patient videos on Facebook and thought leadership articles on LinkedIn, to more active engagement pieces such as quizzes and carousels on Instagram and Twitter. 

Weekly social reports enabled us to chart organic and boosted performance and tweak content development on a rolling basis; monthly reports added sentiment analysis to track the tenor of campaign conversations. 

Anticipating earned media interest, we produced an editorial strategy to capitalize on our newly engaged audiences. Preparing the client with press releases, talking points, fact sheets, community emails, and a thought leadership blog series empowered them to connect their mission stories to the campaign creative.

This campaign has literally raised the bar on anything we’ve ever done before.

-Morgan Roth, SVP Marketing

Driving Saturation

Alongside paid digital advertising, a modest budget was allocated to drive brand awareness and engagement, with organic content boosted for a 48-hour period.

We refined our targeting throughout the campaign to ensure we achieved cost-efficient results. Content optimized for brand awareness targeted users that had not been exposed to content from The Association in the past, which allowed the campaign to successfully reach and inspire a new generation of brand advocates.

Content optimized for engagement targeted three key audiences: lookalike audiences that shared similar interests and behaviors as those who have previously engaged with the brand awareness ads, retargeted video view audiences, and the top 10 US states with the largest number of COVID-19 cases.

Boosted metrics were reviewed on a weekly basis to assess campaign performance (impressions, CPM), engagement (likes, comments, shares, ER %) and conversion (clicks, CTR %).

ALS campaign poster with statement When this is over we'll live without the fear that one day this disease will win
ALS Association help fund a cure donate today

Donations & Advocacy

As audiences moved through our conversion funnel, and as content continued to exceed awareness and engagement metrics, our calls to action shifted from ‘learn more’ to active and practical calls to sign up, speak out, and ultimately, donate. 

Whereas early campaign content heavily featured interactive quizzes, image carousels, animated statistics, and video patient profiles, later content challenged followers to create their own Facebook fundraisers, donate directly, sign up to mailing lists, participate in ‘Virtual Walks,’ and the client’s advocacy action portal. 

Making Real Progress

For most people, their only connection to ALS was the Ice Bucket Challenge. But less than half of the 17 million people who participated knew what they were raising money for. And despite its viral success, six in 10 Americans still know nothing about ALS. 

To date, the campaign has earned over 5.3 million media impressions, nearly 2 million video views, a 205% increase in conversations, and an 81% lift in new donors. We Can’t Wait provided an invaluable public service, set a new standard of engagement for The Association, and renewed optimism that one day we can live in a world free of ALS.

Despite this promising start, more work lies ahead. As of this moment, ALS remains a fatal disease. But through the hard work and the support of millions around the country, we know it’s not a matter of if we’ll find a cure. It’s only a matter of when.

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This could be the beginning of something great.

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