There’s comfort in community.
Caregiving can be a difficult and isolating journey. The Genius of Caring was created for San Francisco film studio WeOwnTV to accompany Banker White’s feature documentary The Genius of Marian. This immersive, multi-platform social campaign was launched after the release of the film, with the purpose of assembling a supportive community of people whose lives have been touched by Alzheimer’s and other caregiving-intensive diseases.
Director Banker White first approached One Net Studios a week prior to the Tribeca International Film Festival. He wanted to come up with a transmedia strategy for the festival. Given the subject matter of the film (Alzheimer’s disease) and the emotional, often complicated nature of the disease process and its effect on the lives of everyone involved, we felt very strongly that we needed to take a personal, untraditional approach. But before we knew what that approach could – or should – be, we needed more information.
When it comes to good strategy, we believe the audience is the key to the answer. At a busy film festival with an older audience, a digital solution – while flashy – is not always effective. So, we broke out the pen and paper and placed it directly into the hands of the audience at The Genius of Marian’s Tribeca screening.
We wanted to dig deep into the hearts and minds of the filmgoers. If we had insight from the source, perhaps it would inspire some outreach ideas. Each audience member was given a nicely designed card as they entered the screening. We asked them to write down a memory they could never live without and to hand it in to us as they were leaving the theatre. We also asked for their contact information so we could start to build our community.
One Net Studios continued to work closely with Banker to identify a segment of the audience that needed the most attention. After a lot of online research, asking questions and simple outreach, we came to the conclusion that the focus should be on Caregivers, as Alzheimer’s is a disease that is especially heart-breaking for family, friends and loved ones to watch.
One Net Studios took the collected intel and worked closely with Banker White’s team to build and design an experience that would begin with a short, chaptered web documentary focused specifically on the experience of the caretaker. In between chapters we would ask the user a series of questions to help connect the documentary with their own experience. Upon completion of the series, we would invite the user to create their own story by adding pictures and answering a few more questions. This was a big ask for this particular audience. The interface had to be beautiful and intuitive.
To ensure we got the design and development correct, we broke out the build of the experience into two phases, surveying our users along the way to ensure we were building something people would use. Banker White also hired Chris Riley, a dedicated outreach co-ordinator who would help onboard users and walk them through the process. She also helps reach out to organizations to introduce them to our project.
To complement our efforts, we built an outreach campaign strategy. Monthly Conversations were developed, each one based on a particular theme tied to the questions in the documentary experience. These conversations were deployed across several social media platforms, inviting thoughts from respondents and connecting them to helpful resources and insightful blog posts from medical experts, Alzheimer’s advocates, subject thought-leaders and experienced caregivers. Our Social media strategist continues to spread the message, while fresh new creative content (videos and photos) is posted regularly.
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- Original pitch led to admission to 2013 Sundance New Frontier Story Lab
- Over 20,000 unique visitors/month to Genius of Caring website from every continent.
- Most users over 45 years of age
- 274 personal stories shared on the site to date
- Each “Conversation” topic leads to between 3,000 – 6,000 impressions across platforms.