K9s For Warriors collaborated with Dana Ross, and Heist Media, to create an emotionally impactful, video that would communicate the profound mission and effectiveness of the K9s For Warriors program.
The concept of Dear Captain was brought to life through the firsthand account of a veteran who experienced the traumas of war and debilitating symptoms of post-traumatic stress. The veteran, Randy, who was paired with a K9s For Warriors' service dog by the name of Captain, narrates this piece by reading a letter that he wrote to Captain.
Randy displays an organic vulnerability from the beginning, which immediately grabs hold of one's attention. A variety of creative close-up shots intensify the level of emotion and intimacy of the video. Other innovative shots are captured to make the viewer feel as though they are in the present moment with Randy and Captain.
As the story unfolds, the positive effect that Captain has on Randy is quite evident and compelling. Randy explains how his service dog brings him comfort, assistance, and enriches he and his family's lives. The landscape footage of the beach adds a boundless, existential quality that can only be comprehended through the heart. Statuesque shots of Randy and Captain walking side-by-side paint a visual masterpiece of the human-animal bond.
The video evokes a genuine empathetic sentiment for Randy, veterans, Captain, and rescue dogs. Those unfamiliar with Post-traumatic stress and the invisible wounds of war are able to walk a mile in a Randy's shoes. Awareness is created for PTS, TBI, and military sexual trauma through this content. In addition, K9s For Warriors reinforces branding and credibility as the nation's largest provider of service dogs for American veterans battling unseen military trauma. With 22 veterans committing suicide every day, the need for this video to reach the masses is dire.
"Dear Captain" educates viewers on the need for veteran-service dog organizations without the use of overwhelming facts or jargon. In turn, those who see the production can connect to the mission of K9s For Warriors and perhaps become compelled to donate to the organization.
Dear Captain has received over 200,000 views on YouTube, which was uploaded to the channel during the month of May (2016). The piece also was successful on social media platforms, reaching over 70,000 views and getting 618 shares on Facebook. Donations also resulted from the launch of this video campaign. Many veterans afflicted with PTS viewed the video as well, which provoked some of them to reach out for help.