How Non-Profit Work Reawakens the Creative Spirit

The Project
When we, as creative professionals, get the chance to use our powers for good, we take it as an opportunity to restore that old flame, to reignite our creative energy as well as giving back to our communities. It’s a chance to do something we can really be proud of.

In 2018, we accepted an offer to do campaign work for North Star Reach, a non-profit overnight summer camp in Michigan for kids who face serious health challenges. In the Great Lakes region alone there are roughly 75,000 children who, due to their medical conditions, might not be able to attend a stayaway summer camp. North Star Reach offers that opportunity by supporting a facility that is staffed 24/7 by nurses, doctors and other medical professionals who strive to create a safe, fun environment for the campers. With the help of their generous donors, North Star Reach is able to offer their services to these children absolutely free of charge.

Our assignment was to generate buzz for the camp as well as excitement among potential new donors.

Our Process

While this opportunity would allow the Isobar Detroit creative team to put some good out into the world, it also presented a set of enticing technical challenges. The work hinged on a 14-hour weekend shoot, including the collection of 360-degree footage from a day at camp. Half of our shot list was dedicated to capturing the North Star Reach grounds, facilities and activities. The other half would put us right in the middle of the action, while campers were busy swimming and having fun. But what was the best way for us to capture footage from the campers’ point of view? Simply hand them an expensive camera?


As it turns out, our best footage came from the kids themselves, who shot video while playing, swimming and dancing. This footage was then compiled and stitched together to make an interactive video that’s now live on the camp’s Facebook page.

Summer Camp and Beyond
Isobar was able to provide a service for North Star Reach that the camp itself would not have been able to achieve on its own. The 360 video and VR experience were the perfect solutions for showing off just how impressive the facilities are, without Isobar ever physically being there. Our work also captured the powerful impact the experience had on the kids themselves. Our North Star Reach shoot will also allow for exciting future VR and 360 executions.

We hope to bring this technology to children that aren’t able to leave the hospital so that they can experience stayaway summer camp first-hand.

These types of VR and 360 experiences drive the mission of the camp in a way that can’t be accomplished on a regular media platform. This could also apply to businesses with limited knowledge of VR and advanced video executions.

The Payoff
Now that the project is wrapping up, it’s easy to see all the ways that this type of work pays off. From a business perspective, it helps add breadth to our portfolio. For the creative department, this type of project can really break up the monotony and make you happy to be working on the weekend because it doesn’t feel like work. It reminds experienced creative team members of why they fell in love with advertising, tech, writing or design in the first place and it offers the type of fulfillment from within that can’t always be found in the corporate projects we do to keep the lights on.

It’s more than work. It’s food for the soul.