MJHS — The Brooklyn Ladies

Sometimes it’s possible to quickly add brand value by extracting something meaningful from a company’s past. But it’s a strategy that requires smart, nuanced creative. Do it right, and you make a strong emotional connection with consumers. Do it wrong, and you succeed only in reminding people that your company is old.

GKV’s re-branding of MJHS, a largely unknown, non-profit New York health care organization that provides skilled nursing, home care and other non-hospital services, is a classic example of how to put a brand’s backstory to work. During the harsh economic climate of New York in the early 1900s, four extraordinary women pooled what little money they had and founded the Brooklyn Ladies Hebrew Home for the Aged in Brooklyn. The Home provided poor, elderly immigrants with health care and a home where they could spend their final days.

Over a hundred years later, that spirit of caring and community lived on as MJHS, one of the largest health services providers in the region. Only no one knew it. So GKV brought The Brooklyn Ladies to life in advertising rich in early 20th century texture, with a continuing narrative about compassion and activism.

In the first year after the re-branding, awareness scores, patient counts, call center activity and charitable donations all rose dramatically. Also, more than a few New Yorkers showed up at Halloween parties dressed as The Brooklyn Ladies.