The USO also named Ogilvy its AOR, expanding the scope of work after the firm was selected in late October, said John Hanson, SVP of marketing and communications for the Arlington, VA-based nonprofit that provides services for US military troops and their families, such as celebrity entertainment tours and airport welcome wagons.
Lisa Ross, EVP and director of specialized communications at Ogilvy, said that the firm is developing an ongoing, multimedia campaign that will kick off in early summer. The campaign will include traditional and online media as well as grassroots.
“We're trying to develop an umbrella message that is compelling and that really gets to the heart and soul of who and what the USO is trying to do on behalf of the soldiers and their families,” she added. “It's really helping them tell the story of the impact that they are having.”
In addition, the firm is providing support for programs like USO Operation Phone Home, Operation USO Care Package, and the USO celebrity tours. The Los Angeles office of Ogilvy will be involved with the entertainment component of the account.
Hanson noted that while the USO is well-known in New York, Chicago, St. Louis, Dallas, Atlanta, Seattle, Denver, and Los Angeles, he hopes that messages about the organization will expand to other regions.
“Our needs up until this year were fairly tactical, and we made the decision here that we thought it would be important for the USO to be able to get more people engaged in what we do,” he said. “We really just want to push the message down past where we are located today.”
Four firms, including Ogilvy and the incumbent, who Hanson declined to name, participated in the pitch. PRWeek reported in September 2007 that the USO had hired CKPR as its AOR. The firm referred questions to the USO.
Hanson noted that Ogilvy was selected, in part, because of its strength with nonprofit campaigns like Livestrong and The Heart Truth. The RFP went out September 22.“We've seen them be active in the nonprofit arena and be successful,” said Hanson. “They understood a great deal about where we wanted to go and how we wanted to get there.”
Budget was not disclosed.