Dashed HOPE

HOPE Beach Volleyball. A booze and bikini fest that draws mobs of people every year to give selflessly to charity – by partying! And to play a little volleyball too, of course. Whether your team is a force to be reckoned with, or a complete calamity, HOPE is a guaranteed good time – rain or shine

Except for this year.

This year BSL rustled up some of its finest athletes and put together a long overdue team for the charity event. We were ready to represent.

Old school BSL team name: Check!

Custom team shirts: Check!

Grueling practice to ensure victory: Partial check!

Game-faces on: Check!

Optimism over intimidating weather forecast: Partial check!

Let's do this.

After playing one disgraceful (albeit fun!) match against Nav Canada, and having our dignity served up to us (overhand!), we were about to find out that Mother Nature was not in the mood for any fun, or fest of any kind.

At first we were only slightly discouraged by the rain, and the heavy blanket of dark clouds overhead. I know I sure had my party hat on (at a shamefully early hour I might add). So we spent our first batch of downtime blowing up branded beach balls and taking in the wide range of scenery.

By the time we headed over to play our next game, the conditions had apparently been upgraded to
extremely-dangerous-to-be-on-a-beach. So our game was cancelled.

A brief glimmer of hope arrived, thanks to a break in the rain, and we scarfed down our complimentary team lunch (yes!). But the torrential downpour soon returned, and we were left no choice but to take that party under the table!

So after another bout of time-killing with those blessed beach balls, the dreaded announcement echoed across the crowd and officially killed the buzz – every single game was cancelled. And a whole beach’s worth of people – from those dressed up in costume to those who were barely dressed at all – were ushered off the premises like a herd of crestfallen, half-drunken cattle.


Getting Bums in the Seats

What is the big deal about attending an orchestra performance? What causes such excitement when listening to live music?

When developing this year’s subscription campaign for the NAC Orchestra, these were the questions we needed to answer. Rather than just focusing on the world-class caliber of music performed, we wanted to frame the complete experience of attending an orchestra performance. Each element – from the venue, to the programming, to the performances – is cause for a real visceral, emotional experience. And what’s most important about these feelings is that they are universal, recognizable and resonant within all of us.


In short, we want to demonstrate the emotional scope that NACO performances evoke.

Working with Ottawa photographer
Tony Fouhse, we wanted to highlight certain elements that would vividly illustrate these emotional experiences. We didn't want to overburden with words. Instead, we wanted to make bold, impacting statements that are associated with these core emotions.

We also took into account that a successful campaign depends on frequency of the message. So we devised a strategy that would give the campaign a strong presence, along with a strong message. Over the next few months, we will be rolling out a wide range of campaign elements including bus shelters, wild postings, brochure distribution, web marketing, and more.

We want people to feel something when they see this campaign. We want them to imagine themselves experiencing these moments. And it is through this vital connection that we can cut through the clutter, build a sense of anticipation, and inspire a real willingness to subscribe... to get those bums in the seats!


Chalkbot: Creative Win

Nike and Lance Armstrong's cancer foundation Livestrong create a robot called The Chalkbot that paints user's messages along the streets of the Tour De France.

You can send in your message via the
campaign's website, text messages, or Twitter.

Watch the Chalkbot in action or submit your own message


QR Codes a Great Marketing Tool

Since 2007, QR Codes have been a mainstay on billboards and print advertisements in Japan. Here in North America, it appears that only highly tech-savvy people have shown interest in this potentially groundbreaking marketing tool.

QR or Quick Response Codes look like this:

Application developers have created mobile phone apps such as BeeTagg, that allow you to snap a picture of a QR Code that in turn will send you to a URL or display some text. The code above will take you to Wikipedia's main mobile page.

Campaigns that include billboards with QR Codes are being used in North America, but not with nearly as much frequency as in Japan.

The National Post has recently printed small QR Codes in their publications to encourage those who have abandoned reading a traditional paper to read their news articles via a mobile phone. See the National Post using QR Codes here, or watch this video for further explanation.