“We knew there was something very positive and very different about Deupree House and Marjorie P. Lee, which are both located in the Hyde Park area,” says Ken Paley, Vice President of Marketing for ERH, a not-for-profit company that owns and operates the upscale retirement communities. “We were trying to create an ad campaign that would enable people to connect with us on an emotional level, and not just a campaign where we only highlighted the many benefits and features associated with living here.”
 
To accomplish this, ERH first conducted extensive qualitative and quantitative research, both with residents and prospective residents, to uncover the decision drivers surrounding a potential move. Then they “dug deep” to uncover the real reasons on an emotional level their residents felt their communities were so special. Paley says, “One obvious benefit we found that provided a sense of long-term security comes from the company’s not-for-profit status, which means we can put our profits back into the community to continuously meet and exceed our residents’ expectations on service levels, premises, food, activities, etc. It also means that even if a resident’s financial situation changes, we will never ask them to leave for financial reasons.”
 
Once the deeper feelings were fleshed out, the marketing team had to come up with the best way to articulate these emotions in a creative advertising campaign that differentiated itself from all the rest.
 
“We decided that the most effective, honest and genuine way to get our point across was to introduce the public to our residents and give people a glimpse into what their own life could be like at Deupree House or Marjorie P. Lee,” Paley notes. “After all, along with the staff it is the people and sense of community that really make the difference and we have an incredibly engaging independent and active group of folks who really love living here.”
 
Research results also underscored the effectiveness of using actual residents in the ads as opposed to stock photo “residents” commonly shown in other ads for retirement communities.
 
ERH engaged Mud Worldwide, an advertising and marketing firm in Sausalito, Calif., to design the new campaign’s personal style and arresting visuals, which feature both color and black-and-white portraits of residents underscored by copy that provides intriguing insights into their personalities.
 
The following stories provide a brief look into the lifestyles and personalities of some of the residents featured in the campaign who call Deupree House and Marjorie P. Lee their home:
 
Jeanne Hines
 
Jeanne Hines has come full circle.
 
She grew up on Erie Avenue and now lives there again, this time in the Deupree House, one of Episcopal Retirement Homes’ premier retirement communities in Hyde Park/Oakley.
 
“I’m very grateful for it,” Hines says of her apartment home of 17 years.
 
She’s also grateful for her neighbors. Everyone has an intriguing history, often with relatable references to the town.
 
Hines, for instance, was one of Procter & Gamble’s early Camay Brides. In 1938, she was asked by a fellow UC student-turned-P&G ad man to be featured in a print advertisement for the company’s soap, Camay. The national ads showed real brides in their wedding gowns and espoused Camay’s role in consumers becoming “lovelier every day.” Her paycheck for the job? Hines recalls she was paid $1 and given a free box of Camay soap!
 
Chet and Joy Cavaliere
 
Chet Cavaliere and his wife Joy always knew they’d move to an Episcopal Retirement Home. He had been a board member of ERH and Joy’s mother had been a resident of Marjorie P. Lee, so they knew how good life would be there.
 
But Chet thought it would happen two years later than it did in 1997. The thing originally keeping him back was his gardening hobby. As the self-appointed gardener for their Montgomery condo and those of their neighbors, Chet finally told his wife one day in the fall of 1996, “I have eight hours of (gardening) work, but only four hours of energy. Let’s move.”
 
Chet, a WWII veteran in the Army Air Corps, was a partner for Peat Marwick — now KPMG — until 1983. He followed that retirement by working for a past client, Antonio Palazzolo, until last July. He does all the accounting for and is the financial adviser to the Ensemble Theater and has been the president of the standing committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio for three years.
 
As for gardening at the Deupree House, although he could tend his own garden there, Cavaliere now is content planting pansies in flower boxes on his deck in the spring. He says gardening in all four seasons is left to the hands of Robert Evans, who cares for the landscaping of the properties.
 
Miner Raymond
 
Miner Raymond likens his Deupree House-mates to college kids — presumably without the hijinx.
 
“It feels more like a college dorm (than a retirement community) because everybody’s friendly, everybody’s pretty smart and everybody’s kind — there’s always little acts of kindness,” Raymond says.
 
Although he expected a restful time in retirement, Raymond says “I’ve never been busier,” with activities and jobs that include appointments on the boards of directors for ERH and Hospice of Cincinnati. “My days are full.”
 
And that’s saying something, considering his earlier workdays included helming his own consulting firm after spending 25 years at Procter & Gamble, where one of his many accomplishments was to come up with the idea for the original “soap opera” sponsor concept. He started the company — now known as MRA Inc. — in 1980 to consult with large national advertising agencies and advertisers on their advertising productions. Raymond retired in 1997, but remains on the company’s board of directors.
 
Aldy Kuertz
 
When it comes to residences, Aldy has a vast frame of reference. Her husband, Robert, was a pilot in the Air Force, which helped move the family around. For four years the Kuertzes and their son lived in Fountanbleu, France, near the famed City of Lights.
 
“It was nothing for us to go into Paris for dinner,” Aldy recalls.
 
After France, the family moved to Washington, D.C., where Aldy, then concerned for their son’s plans to go to Vietnam, took her first job at the Defense Intelligence Agency — without telling her husband. “
 
He knew I was worried and this (job) helped take my mind off it,” Aldy says of her secretarial assignment. “It was such a good job.”
 
Here in Cincinnati, Aldy volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House for 17 years. She lost her husband in 2001 after 54 years of marriage.
 
For an extrovert like Aldy Kuertz, living at the Marjorie P. Lee House is kind of like heaven.
 
“For one thing, there’s its prime location, making Hyde Park Square, church and library all within walking distance. For another, there’s its ready-made community of friends and friends-not-yet-met.”