New Mount Pleasant campaign tackles funeral planning taboos

The Mount Pleasant Group of Cemeteries has launched a new campaign to make funeral planning less of a taboo topic.

With “The Art of Saying Goodbye,” the real-life stories of four Canadians are told through a series of short films. Each spot approaches the dreaded task of planning a funeral by focusing on meaningful moments in the characters’ lives instead of the sadness surrounding their deaths. The campaign encourages people to talk to their families about their final wishes and plan for their deaths well ahead of time.

Previously, the Mount Pleasant Group has reached consumers through print ads and targeted direct mail. Dave Carey, client service lead at Union Creative Ltd., the agency behind the campaign, said they wanted to “go a different route” and broaden their reach with this campaign.

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“Direct mail pieces aren’t going to cut through the clutter anymore,” said Carey. While some print and transit shelter ads will supplement the short films (which can be viewed now in cinema pre-roll and online), Carey said that the short films carry a touch of emotion because of their true and personal nature. “We wanted to work on how to celebrate life, rather than look at it as a bad thing when you die,” he added.

David Strasser, who wrote the campaign, said they “wanted real people” with compelling stories to be featured in the campaign. More than 100 people showed up to a casting call, and four people with authentic, poignant stories were selected to film three spots.

The spots will continue to run in Toronto-area movie theatres for the month of January, and again in March.

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