Last week, I signed off with a video that provides the perfect summary of my personal beliefs regarding the arts and their value to communities and society as a whole. For reference, here is that video again:

Now, I’d like to look at this video from a social marketing perspective. Who is this video addressing or targeting? What is the message? What is the desired behavior? And finally, is it effective?

First, some background on the organization and the campaign. The Greater Hartford Arts Council is an organization based in Hartford, Connecticut whose mission is to “provide leadership for the financial success and organizational stability of the arts, heritage and cultural community of Connecticut’s capital region.Formed over 40 years ago, the council provides operating support grants as well as programs and services designed to “leverage the arts to strengthen communities, drive the economy and improve the quality of life of 1.2 million residents.”

Every year, the Greater Hartford Arts Council runs the United Arts Campaign, which serves as a community-wide fundraising drive. According to their website, the success of the fundraising campaign “relies on the generous support of corporations and local businesses, government and private foundations and the contributions of individual arts enthusiasts to help keep the arts alive.”

From this quote, we can deduce that the target markets for this video and the campaign in general are:

  • Corporations
  • Local business owners
  • Public officials
  • Private foundations
  • Individual arts enthusiasts

Main Messages Communicated:untitled

The desired behavior of this campaign is to donate to/support the arts. The core product is an improved quality of life through a “brighter, healthier and better community.” Improved quality of life is the benefit (what the target audiences want/value/need) that is being offered in exchange for performing the behavior (donate to/support the arts).

Clearly, the council is targeting multiple audiences through the same communication channel. They didn’t make multiple videos in an attempt to address each audience segment with a unique message. Rather they included multiple messages within the same video. So, is this strategy effective? I would say yes, but only if done correctly. To be effective, the multiple messages must have a strong connection to the same core product. In addition, the core product (benefit) should be equally valued among the different audiences. While a given audience might connect with or be persuaded by different messages within the single video, in the end, the benefit offered is the same.

Ultimately, I think the United Arts Campaign video was indeed effective in targeting multiple audiences within the same communication channel. Essentially, the message is this–“There are many different ways in which the arts exert a positive impact on your community.  Whether you care about helping veterans, improving education, or boosting the local economy, you can make an impact and receive the benefit of an improved quality of life by donating to/supporting the arts.”

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