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Agency Off Record

Denver Human Services: Brand Refresh

Denver Human Services serves 1 in 3 residents in the Denver community through food, cash, and benefits. Their services support seniors, children, the homeless, and more, with a focus on the whole person and the whole family. 

The Challenge:

In an industry filled with stigma and negative stereotypes, Denver Human Services was looking to create a campaign to reduce those perceptions. The marketing team started the process by creating an overarching headline and hashtag: #BeHuman. 

AOR was challenged to create a campaign that spoke to the wide variety of Denver Human Services audiences while incorporating #BeHuman. The campaign needed to use the City of Denver color palette and authentic stock photography — all while developing a distinct look and feel for the project and the department as a whole. 

The Approach:

To create the campaign we started with a robust discovery session with the client to inform our creative brief. The creative brief concentrated heavily on a variety of audiences, messaging hierarchy, design likes and dislikes, and a strategic plan for build out of each marketing tactic.

With #BeHuman as the overarching theme and tagline, we also created a headline that effectively spoke to each audience as well as a supporting sub headline. 

  • Headline: Let’s start where you are.
  • Sub Headline: Together, we’ve got this.

The Process:

For the brand campaign creation, we started with messaging to influence the creative direction of the project. We initially created three messaging and design options for the client to choose from. They chose a campaign inspired by one of their programs: Denver Day Works. The program works to start where people are to help them toward their goals while also building a healthy and connected city. Once the client chose a design direction we were able to create a style guide and each of the tactics to communicate their new message.

These tactics included: 

  • Strategic Plan Report
  • Website templates
  • Desk Aid
  • Flyer template
  • Email template
  • Pocket Donor Guide
  • Social media assets
  • Screensavers
  • Vertical banners
  • Parking meter stickers

The Outcome:

The team at Denver Human Services was thrilled with the designs and were very excited to use each of the tactics and roll out the campaign to their staff, the City, and audiences. This enthusiasm allowed us to create a few more items for them beyond the original scope of the project. Other city agencies have also cited the campaign’s design as a source of inspiration.

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