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WWTT? Death Gets Good Advertising From Lake View Cemetery

It’s October, the start of the spooky season, and a time to enjoy the dark and macabre … and possibly also the uplifting? While many feel that cemeteries are for the dead and/or mourning, Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland has a more positive outlook on death and final resting grounds (and it’s not just because the nonprofit cemetery has some skin — or bones — in the game.)

Lake View, while being an active cemetery accepting new business, is also a tourist destination for those who want to tour the beautifully kept grounds spanning over 200 acres; visit the graves of famous Americans such as Eliot Ness, John D. Rockefeller, and President James A. Garfield; or attend an event ranging from walking tours to 5K runs. You can even have your wedding at Lake View.

Credit: Brokaw

To get the word out that Lake View is both a final and tourist destination, the cemetery worked with agency Brokaw to produce an omnichannel campaign featuring print, digital, social media, as well as digital OOH.

The digital messaging is on point, showing personality and a sense of humor.

According to Brokaw, the cemetery also wanted to adjust the perception that Lake View was only a resting place the for the wealthy. President and CEO of the Lake View Cemetery Association Kathy Goss is quoted:

“This [campaign] is a great example of how, together with Brokaw, we’ve completely reinvented our brand from being perceived as an elitist cemetery to a place that celebrates all walks of life and beyond.”

The ads run the gamut from the importance of end-of-life planning to tourism opportunities, and according to Goss, the campaign has resulted in perceptions have shifting 100% and sales increasing $1.9 million over the past three years.

Credit: Brokaw

In my opinion, it seems like this campaign is clearly working based on the results. It’s not only to brought in money, but adjusted how the cemetery — and perhaps death — is perceived by the Cleveland public. As someone who enjoys visiting famous cemeteries whenever I travel, I appreciate the effort Lake View is making to position itself as a place to visit, while also not ignoring its need to keep up “new” business.

What do you think, marketers? Leave me a comment below!

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