Published On: June 5th, 2021By
An illustration of a person speaking to their laptop with a superimposed image of someone on a computer talking back.
Johnston Group is among Canada’s top employee benefits plan providers, offering smart solutions for companies of all sizes — whether you have one employee or over 10,000. Chambers Plan is the company’s premiere product, bringing affordable employee benefits to small and midsize businesses through participation of more than 30,000 organizations

Understanding the Challenge

Johnston Group initially came to us looking for a video campaign to showcase features of the Chambers Plan that are especially helpful for owners and employees of small or mid-sized businesses. We filmed the live-action videos in January. Then the pandemic hit, and like many businesses, Johnston Group had to quickly re-think their marketing tactics.
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Finding the Concept

With lockdown prohibiting many face-to-face paramedical services, Johnston Group wanted to showcase the range of benefits that could be accessed online or virtually.

We took that concept and generalized it, proposing a series of short animated videos, each highlighting a feature of Chambers Plan that supported virtual work. This was an important distinction as it would remain relevant even as lockdown measures began to lift. The campaign would show that Chambers Plan could work from anywhere.

What Happened Next?

We developed the series of five 15-second videos to highlight the Chambers Plan features that are particularly helpful for business owners as they adapt to the pandemic:
  • The Business Assistance Service, which gives employers access to professional consulting on key business management issues
  • Coverage for a wide variety of virtual health and paramedical appointments
  • The Employee Assistance Program, which includes virtual counselling
  • A fully digital benefits platform for employers to manage their account
  • Teladoc, a service that allows employees to connect virtually with a doctor for non-emergency appointments and prescription renewals

Designed as a social media campaign, we ensured the videos got the message across with or without sound, which meant adding text overlays and keeping animations simple.

We opted for a fun, but minimalist aesthetic, with a black-and-white palette plus an on-brand spot colour added for interest. This allowed us to easily and efficiently make iterations with different spot colours to keep the content feeling fresh.
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Not only were we able to produce these videos quickly, with the first three videos ready within two weeks and the rest following two weeks after that, this series resonated. The videos earned good reach and engagement relative to other posts, and the creative has continued to perform well as a paid campaign driving Messenger conversations through Chambers Plan’s Facebook page.

Marketing Tips for In-House and Agency Teams

  • A trusted client-agency relationship is vital. The pandemic totally disrupted marketing plans for a lot of organizations, and some suffered from fear of not knowing what to do next. When you have a good established relationship between agency and client, it’s easier to move fast and find a new way to reach your market.
  • Consider how your brand enriches the lives of clients or customers. Your marketing plans should always look beyond the transaction, focusing instead on how your brand helps people in their day-to-day life. These videos zeroed in on the product’s adaptability, and the results showed how successful this strategy can be.
  • Develop your concept based on the most restricted medium. In this case, we knew we had to get our message across in 15 seconds without any sound because that’s how people consume media on social channels. This forced us to keep the messaging succinct and simple, as people can only read so fast. Tackling social video first streamlined our process.
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