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10 January 2012

Creative Canada


Inspired by Canada's Marketing magazine digital awards that were announced at the end of last year, Anthony Daniel reflects on the strengths of the country's creative media industry. 

Canada creative
The digital universe has given marketers a plethora of devices to engage and target audiences whether it be SMS, email, QR, AR, projection stunts or content driven campaigns. The digital revolution universally refreshed the creative industries and each culture around the world has stamped their own creative heritage onto various digital tools to execute successful local strategies.

The Canadian creative media industry has brilliantly deployed its digital media culture as a lens to view its consumers, with social networking tools often at the core. . The Canadian consumer landscape has evolved and audiences are no longer gratified by sitting back and passively absorbing representations of a brand; they want to be involved, engaged and have a say in what they purchase. 

There are various examples of consumer involvement; Doritos launched ‘The End’, a campaign in which consumers were invited to write the ending to an unfinished TVC. The winner received a cash prize, but in a development of the consumer involvement model, the winner was offered the opportunity to sit on the Doritos branding team to offer insight about the ever changing tastes of the Doritos audience.

The creative team behind the strategy totally understood that crowd sourcing would generate interaction with current followers and kindle new interest from potential consumers. Doritos effectively took consumer engagement to the next level by handing over the brand to the audience, but at a more involved level than simple user generated content. Campaigns like this help to intelligently pinpoint customer preferences before investing millions on product development and marketing.  

DotirotsDoritos 'The End' takes engagement to the next level?

In a sample of work from the past 18 months, Canada’s creative media industry has demonstrated a real talent for the creation of engaging digital content. The local industry has used digital channels to create brand offerings that are a lot closer to the needs and wants of the people. Successful brand activity enters popular culture, but the most successful helps demonstrate the talents and local industry that produced it.

When the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) wanted to persuade Americans to visit Canada, user generated content was used for TVC’s and social media platforms were built into vacant storefronts in strategic sites in the U.S. These Twitter-based murals featured interactive touch screens where holiday makers would tweet about their experiences and which encouraged the American public to tweet  back and engage conversation about Canada as a great holiday destination. Digital engagement in action.

Social media has allowed marketers to amplify the impact of live consumer engagements and events, but as feeds and walls fill up with shared content, the competition for audience and share capital will only increase. Live engagements need to be interactive, rather than passive, experiences. The rise of experiential marketing can only be fuelled by hooks that encourage participation from the audience. One of the most powerful aspects of live engagement marketing is the ability to connect positive feelings with the brand in the mind of the audience.

Storefrontcanada2Interactive storefronts promote Canada tourism. 

Looking to the future, we can obviously look forward to new innovations as marketers around the world seek to exploit new opportunities to entice audiences to a brand. Augmented reality is still a relatively new medium, but already some companies cleverly use this technology to engage the consumer. Brands are harnessing holographic technology to interact with users and are changing in-store advertising as we know it; maybe we are not as far away from the holo-deck as we might think – and there’s a strong possibility it could be in Toronto or Vancouver. 

Check out Cream's pick of Canadian creativity:

Contagion - A new type of viral marketing

Posters powered by bacteria create suitably gruesome advertising for disease disaster movie.

Tourettes - At random

A video art project tells the realities of living Tourette syndrome.

BC Hydro - Sensor boards

Reactive shop windows promote consciencious energy use.

Doritos - The End

Fans are invited to kill an unwanted flavour in 'reverse' product launch.

NEDIC - Cast responsibly

Eating disorder awareness ad doubles as fashion mag dumping ground.

MINI - Vending machine

A projected vending machine allows viewers to play with the different characteristics of MINI.

AutotraderAuto Trader - Cliff your ride

AutoTrader Canada launches a high-octane campaign by pushing cars of a cliff.

Canada Tourism - Storescapes

The Canadian Tourism Commission lures Americans to book a Canadian holiday.

Puma - Life sized table football

Puma takes it global Love=Football message to the streets of Toronto.

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  • Right Brain, Left Brain sums up the dichotomy of a media business that’s constantly battling with the challenge of delivering a profit and discovering new ways to communicate to consumers. The Cream editorial team combined with a dream team of industry pioneers from around the world share their expert opinions.

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