Challenge: Asbury Communities, a management company for continuing care retirement communities and home-care services, and Perkins Eastman (PE) architecture and design firm worked together to develop a unique solution to the void in safe living options for patients with Alzheimer’s disease. PE designed a unique “smart house” for Alzheimers patients and their spouses to live in that takes on a residential feel and contains a variety of safety features that are unique to seniors with the disease. This “House for Betty,” allows aging in place, in a peaceful, safe place that uses smart technology to help the patient and his or her spouse ‘transform’ to the next stage. Both organizations wanted to not only get the word out about this innovative concept but be able to present their idea in a clear and impactful way despite no physical building yet present.
Action: Build a PR and Marketing campaign around the innovative House for Betty concept to raise awareness and visibility for the project and both organizations. The focal point of the campaign was an interactive website that contained animated renderings of the House for Betty, including outside views and inside floor plans. Specifically, the renderings allowed website users to click on the ceiling of one of the rooms and the roof would rise. A highlight box popped up and showed the “cool” safety features of that room that are unique for Alzheimer’s patients (i.e, lights dim automatically, doors lock automatically, garden gate is bolted as patient walks near it, etc.). Photos of furnished rooms also popped up along with the safety features, giving a visual snap shot of what makes this concept significant and life-changing for Alzheimers patients.
Results: The use of animation and flash were important to this effort because Asbury was selling something truly unique and cutting edge in the industry. Using the site as a digital tool portrayed that very effectively. It also provided a place to drive people for information and updates, using social media, videos, media outreach, and other initiatives that were included in a broader campaign. This digital tool allowed the key audiences to clearly see the advantages and importance of a House for Betty, even prior to it being built.