Parades, fireworks, street parties— Canada Day is right around the corner, and this year, festivities are expected to be bigger than ever. After all, they have been 150 years in the making. Although the big day is technically July 1st, celebrations are happening all year long, and several major brands have stepped up to make this year one for the books. The Canada 150 campaigns we’ve seen so far capture what it means to be Canadian and have us feeling some big-time Canadian pride. Here are a few of our favourites.
RBC: Make 150 Count
In celebration of Canada’s 150th, RBC gave 3000 Canadian youth 150 dollars to make a difference in their communities—no strings attached. To participate, all they had to do was share what they intended to do with the money on social media with the hashtag #Make150Count. RBC selected the recipients and turned them loose 150 dollars richer.
From partnering with local farmers to promote ethically raised eggs to buying LGBTQ literature for their elementary schools, they got creative and used the money to incite positive change. Not only did the campaign shine a light on the selflessness of Canada’s up-and-coming generations, it produced a ton of user-generated content for RBC. Doing good really is good business. Participant stories are posted on the RBC website and social channels.
Roots: Be Nice
If there’s one thing Canadians are known for, it’s being nice. But which Canadian is the nicest? Roots set out to answer the question with their Be Nice campaign. The campaign kicked off with a one-minute video highlighting some of Canada’s “nicest” moments narrated by Kim Cattrall. Terry Fox running across Canada for cancer, Canadians welcoming Syrian Refugees into the country, Greenpeace protesting whale hunting— each clip set out to redefine the quintessential Canadian quality “nice” as something more than a tendency to overuse the word “sorry.” The video defined nice as something that takes guts and challenges the status quo in the face of adversity.
After a healthy dose of nice-peration, Roots asked Canadians to nominate the nicest person in their lives by sharing their photo and story on social media with #BeNice and #RootsisCanada. The top ten nominations were posted on the Roots website where Canadians could vote for Canada’s Nicest Person. The winner was awarded 10,000 dollars to donate to the charity of their choice, a Roots leather jacket, and a 500 dollar Roots gift card. Not only did the campaign celebrate some truly admirable Canadians, but it strengthened the sense of community around the Roots brand by sparking social sharing and storytelling.
Presidents Choice: #EatTogether
Communities who eat together stay together. At least, that was the sentiment behind President’s Choice’s #EatTogether campaign, which tugged at Canadian heartstrings with an emotional message about connecting, sharing, and caring. The campaign featured a two-and-a-half-minute video in which a woman, feeling isolated in the world of smartphones and social media, sets up a dinner table in the hallway of her apartment building. Slowly but surely everyone on the floor emerges from their apartments—even the recluse at the end of the hall—with food for the table. By the end, not only are these people from diverse backgrounds and different walks of life eating together, they are laughing together, sharing stories and getting to know one another.
Although Canada’s 150th isn’t mentioned until the end of the video, the act of coming together to share a meal is an allegory of Canadian values that taps into viewers’ increasing sense of national pride leading up to Canada’s big day. To connect the campaign with Canada’s 150th, President’s Choice is encouraging Canadians to share what they bring to the table when they #EatTogether on social media. When it comes to connecting with customers, the campaign’s emotional approach to storytelling and leveraging of national identity is sure to yield impressive results.
So there you have it, our favourite Canada 150 campaigns so far. Happy Canada Day to all you Canucks out there. Enjoy this weekend’s 150th festivities!