Chartwell puts a positive spin on retirement living

The country's largest operator of senior housing addresses misconceptions about the industry by focusing on social activities.

Chartwell Retirement Residences is positioning itself as a trusted retirement residence operator ahead of an expected surge in demand over the next several years.

The first work tackling that goal – handled by Cundari, which was named its AOR earlier this year – has begun rolling out with “Let’s Live, Together.” The spot aims to address the stigma associated with retirement living by promoting Chartwell’s residences as a place seniors go to live happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives. The video shows people of retirement age engaging in a number of social activities, such as dancing, playing music and eating together.

“People spend their lifetimes sharing moments with other people,” says Sharon Henderson, Chartwell’s VP of marketing. “Our new campaign challenges the assumption that living alone at home is somehow better than living an engaging life of purpose with others. A retirement residence is a perfect setting for that socialization.”

Many people overlook retirement homes as a viable living option due to misconceptions that persist about the industry, added Malcolm McLean, president and chief strategist at Cundari, in a press release. “This new campaign simply portrays retirement living as the natural next step in a lifetime of steps we all take and share with family and friends. We want people to see how living with Chartwell is time well spent. It’s as engaging, social and rewarding as the lives Canadian seniors have been living all along.”

Media efforts for the bilingual campaign, which spans TV, print, radio and digital advertising, are being focused on the Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia markets, where Chartwell, the country’s largest operator of housing communities for seniors, collectively owns 200 properties. The marketing assets went live on Sept. 9 and will remain in market until Dec. 15.

When awarded the creative and media AOR status in January, Cundari was asked to focus on creative that would speak to adult children considering the living situation of their parents. Henderson says that by telling a story that is “accessible and human,” the company hopes it will encourage adult children to have what can often be a difficult conversation with their parents.

The push comes as Chartwell, and the rest of the country, brace for increased demand for senior living accommodations. According to Statistics Canada, seniors aged 65 years and older are the fastest-growing group in Canada. In 2016, seniors represented around 17% of the population, a percentage that is expected to increase to 24% by 2036.