Peace Corps retains BBDO Atlanta

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The Peace Corps has retained BBDO Atlanta for its advertising responsibilities, after its five-year contract expired and a review process was required by the government.

The review process for the nonprofit account, which involved other undisclosed agencies, involved a paper panel, a technical review and creative capability.

“BBDO responded to specific things that we were looking for,” said Linda Isaac, marketing strategist at Peace Corps. “They matched their strategic and planning department with the creative and they had a lot of insight in tapping into the volunteer profile.”

The Omnicom agency has served the Peace Corps for the past five years. Past work includes the "Life is calling. How far will you go?" campaign, a national recruiting TV effort whose goal was to expand Peace Corps enrollment. The work, which debuted in the fall of 2003 and is still running today, won a Gold EFFIE for marketing effectiveness as well as other awards.

Since this campaign began running, Peace Corps volunteers are at a record high. In addition, traffic to the Web site increased and the organization saw an increase in application starts. (The Peace Corps measures application starts rather than volunteers joining, as applying to volunteer is a long process.)

With the new partnership, BBDO will continue to work with this campaign's tagline, while expanding to new channels including a new radio PSA.

Peace Corps members must be more than 18 years of age, a US citizen and in reasonably good health. For this reason, its messaging is targeted at a variety of audiences. While the average age of volunteers is 27, the 50-plus segment is growing, so the government agency is beginning to “focus on particular psychographic [information] that spans across the audience” to help reach a wider group with one message, Isaac said.

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