WASHINGTON: The YWCA USA is supplementing its recently announced advertising campaign with widespread media outreach and a viral cause marketing effort.
The organization is working with advertising and PR firm Bozell Jacobs on the campaign. It does not have an AOR.
The campaign hopes to shed light on behavior that causes inequities and prejudice against women and people of color. The advertising spots began airing on January 31 online and on television and will run until the end of March. The organization is currently pitching long-lead media.
"[The YWCA] doesn't believe in advertising campaigns without strong media relations and social marketing," said Debra Roth, director of communications and marketing for YWCA USA. The YWCA has two full-time PR professionals and is looking to hire two more.
To support the campaign, Roth said the main organization will help local organizations with media relations, cause marketing, and branding surrounding women's issues and racial equality.
"While people thought of [YWCA as a brand], it is more immediately affiliated with the YMCA and as a place where you go to work out," Roth said.
The YWCA USA unveiled a new brand in 2004 focusing on its key mission elements: eliminating racism and empowering women. This campaign and the rebranding are geared towards reminding members and the public about its programs that reach beyond fitness.
"The YWCA realized a few years ago we needed to revamp our focus to target a younger demographic [of 18-34 year olds]," Roth said of the rebranding. "The YWCA, in addition to being 'slim and gym,' has been revamping other programs to strengthen women and reach out to stem racism."
Part of the campaign's outreach, Roth said, was informing members who primarily used the gym about its other programs.
The organization is also looking for a corporate partner to support the campaign and a potential viral marketing campaign to spread the message online. It will also be sponsoring programs on MTV and BET that target the demographic.
The YWCA was founded in 1858, is headquartered in Washington, DC, and has over 300 associations throughout the US.