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Integrated Marketing Campaign
Role:  Strategy



Founded over half a century ago, the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is one of the leading drug and alcohol addiction treatment providers in the world. Yet, while Hazelden may have set the standard for modern addiction treatment, they were facing a challenge: The number of people seeking addiction treatment was rising, but the number of people seeking treatment at Hazelden facilities was declining.

Our task was to figure out why and then craft a solution.



  • Review of current and previous Hazelden marketing tactics
  • Consultations with Hazelden marketing and clinical staff
  • Interviews with Hazelden clients
  • Comparative analysis of addiction treatment providers
  • Interviews with support communities of recovering addicts

A survey of the competitive landscape revealed that the addiction treatment market had shifted. In particular, a wave of facilities had opened that took a ‘soft’ stance on addiction treatment by positioning themselves as spas and retreats rather than medical facilities.

While there was very little evidence to suggest their programs were effective, these ‘lifestyle’ treatment providers had clearly captured the interest of consumers.

In contrast, Hazelden’s 12-step treatment model, while highly effective, was viewed by many younger consumers as antiquated.

Further analysis also revealed that Hazelden had a strong media footprint, but it wasn’t pointing toward a single brand message, which weakened the overall impact of its marketing tactics.


  • Every single person can identify the presence of addiction somewhere in their life (even if it’s a few degrees removed).
  • Addiction severs connections between addicts and the things that give their lives meaning, and the pain of that separation is felt on both sides.  


An integrated marketing campaign built from the ‘ground up’, starting with a new brand message (“Life Wants You Back”), delivered via a connected ecosystem of tactics (minus a TV/radio buy).


  • Bus Kings
  • Billboards and eco-posters
  • Micro-website
  • Web banner ads


  • 18-25 years old
  • 36-54 years old


Places of alcohol consumption (bars, restaurants, stores)


  • 123,219,000 impressions across Twin Cities within intended demographics
  • Significant increase in new patient enrollment in the quarter following campaign roll-out
  • Decision by client to maintain Life Wants You Back as a long-term brand platform

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