Campbell-Ewald Helping Company Tell War Stories

Campbell-Ewald has been tapped by a company that offers war veterans a video record of their individual experience.

The company, Tullamore Corp. in San Diego, combines personal film and photo material supplied by individual veterans with footage from the National Archives of their military units to create professional, customized 30-minute videos. Tullamore hopes to make 25,000 distinct “A Veteran’s Story” videos during the next three years. Each one will sell for $795.

Michael Downs, president and CEO of Tullamore, said he spoke with a handful of Southern California shops, including J. Walter Thompson in Los Angeles and Ogilvy & Mather in Culver City, before selecting Campbell-Ewald in Santa Monica. “We liked them personally,” Downs said of Campbell-Ewald. “We liked their professionalism and the stuff they showed us from past campaigns, and we were very impressed with their media-buying expertise. And, frankly, they fell in love with the idea.”

Campbell-Ewald evp and executive creative director Debbie Kar nowsky said the shop’s employees became “zealots” about the product after watching a few of the videos. “When I saw the first one in my office, I got goosebumps and a little teary-eyed,” she said. “It’s a moving product.”

Tullamore has budgeted $1 million to advertise the official launch of the product, slated for early 2003. Campbell-Ewald is now evaluating who is likely to purchase the videos and how to reach them. “This [product] tends to feel more like a gift,” Karnowsky said. “Women tend to motivate that to happen.”

Karnowsky said the media mix will likely include direct response TV and/or direct mail in markets where many veterans or their family members reside.

During its two-year testing and development phase, Tullamore—a 20-person company comprised of young film-school graduates and war veterans—has created nearly 200 films. About half of those are now airing as part of a weekly History Channel program, The Veteran’s Project, with veterans’ families receiving royalties.