Going back to nature to drive interest in senior living

The Residence at Littledale uses nearby parks to highlight the independent, safe experiences residents can expect.
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The Residence at Littledale is opening the doors to its new independent and assisted living facility in St. John’s, N.L., but it is focusing on the nature surrounding the building to reach seniors who value an independence and active lifestyle in a worry-free environment.

In the “Trees” spot, a senior named Richard explores the aged trees within the residence’s nearby Waterford Valley, commenting on how the cedar and oak trees planted more than 100 years ago make him feel like a teenager. In “Ducks,” a woman takes a break to read during a walk on a nearby nature trail, interrupted by ducks quacking in a pond – referred to as “just a few noisy neighbours.”

Part of the reason that the campaign focused on the outdoors was practical: it was shot in August, when the interior of the facility was still under construction. But it a happy side effect of that is allowing the campaign to show nearby areas and nature enabling Littledale residents to be independent, active and youthful in a tranquil setting.

“It’s cheeky in its humour, about how you can still be very youthful even though you’re a senior,” says Jennifer Carroll, general manager at the Residence at Littledale. “It’s that whole concept of, living here with us, you can maintain your independence, should you wish. You don’t have to feel like you’re a senior that has nothing to contribute to your community around you. You can still live a really vibrant life.’”

The campaign not only looks to build awareness of the Residence at Littledale’s new facility, but also to generate leads and booking of units for prospective residents. Carroll says during the early stages of COVID-19, it was “very worried” from a marketing perspective, due to all the negative publicity the Canadian long-term care sector was receiving in its handling of the pandemic. Even though Littledale isn’t an LTC, “anything associated with seniors’ living…it was a terrible time to be in that industry,” Carroll says. She adds they were “very frightened” that the few depositors they had were “going to be running a little scared.”

But it was the exact opposite, Carroll says. The residence reached out to those who had made deposits and had conversations with their families about how they would keep them safe, the benefits of the building and activities its residents can do safely – several of which are also focal points of the campaign.

Carroll says the Residence at Littledale is also inviting families in to view its facility and see what protocols it has in place, making its nursing, kitchen and nutritional staff available to talk to them about things like nutritional feeding and food supplies. “We’ve really taken the opportunity to build a very close client relationship with the people who are interested in living in our building,” Carroll says.

While a campaign focused on the outdoors might have some social distancing-related relevance, the idea is meant to stay relevant in the long-term. “We wanted to think past COVID,” Carroll says. “We wanted that sophisticated approach to seniors’ living that had dignity and interest.”

The spots, created by agency partner Ray, will appear on TV throughout Newfoundland and Labrador, alongside paid digital and social. MW 360 handled the media buy.