Latest Issue of Brainstorm in the "Mail"

It's our final enewsletter for 2012! This issue celebrates some truly successful collaborations with our clients, awards won, new staff and offers some insights on measuring ROI. Read all about it in the latest issue of Brainstorm.

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Grandmothers Advocacy Network and Banfield-Seguin Celebrate GRAN's New Brand

Every now and then, in the marketing communications world, we get the chance to work with an organization that is truly making a difference. Working with the Grandmothers Advocacy Network (GRAN) was one of these times.

Over the past six months, Banfield-Seguin had the opportunity to work on a re-branding effort with GRAN. GRAN is a network of grandmothers and grand-“others” who advocate in Canada and around the world on behalf of children in Africa who have been orphaned by AIDS, and the grandmothers who raise them.

On November 20th, our clients dropped in on Banfield-Seguin, giving us the chance to celebrate the success of the rebranding together. GRAN representatives from across Canada were present, and it was an occasion for tremendous gratitude, and even a few tears — on both sides.

GRANS front row, left to right: Marilyn Coolen, Andrea Beal, Gillian Sandeman, Pat Evans, Peggy Edwards, Hilary Elliott, Val Swinton, Linda Watson, Bonnie Johnson. GRANS back row, left to right: Kathleen Wallace-Deering, Marjorie Kort, Janet Wilkinson. BSL TEAM left to right: Christina Flavell, Peter Mulder, James Laing, Christine Hume, Bianca Manga, Nancy Webb.
 We want to thank Banfield-Seguin, your president Nancy Webb and the team that worked on this project,” said Peggy Edwards, proudly wearing her GRAN t-shirt adorned with the new logo.   “The new brand is working so well for us — it has unified the Grandmothers Advocacy Network and made us an even stronger force to be reckoned with.”

Peggy Edwards & Nancy Webb sharing the new GRAN umbrella!
“I was hesitant about working with an outside company to do our branding,” said Hilary Elliott, GRAN representative from Calgary. “I wasn’t sure of the process and if they would ‘get it’. How could they possibly come up with the right look & feel to represent all that we do and represent? When the logo options were presented, we were amazed by the designs and the fact that you understood us so well.”

When asked to say a few words about the experience working with GRAN, Director of Strategy Christina Flavell reminisced about that initial creative presentation. “We finished taking you through all the logo and tagline options and there was a brief pause, and then you all burst into applause. It was the most amazing and gratifying experience I think I’ve ever had in this business.” Associate Creative Director Peter Mulder agreed, saying, “We can’t thank you enough for your enthusiasm and passion throughout the project. It was such a pleasure for all of us to work with your organization.”
Marilyn Coolen tells us about GRAN going to Washington, DC!
Another GRAN representative, Marilyn Coolen from Halifax, shared her experience with the new brand. “We boldly applied to present at the World AIDS conference in Washington this year — never thinking that we would be accepted, being first-time applicants. Imagine our surprise when we heard we got accepted! We were so proud to have a banner with the new logo and tagline at our booth. And it worked! The new brand got people’s attention and they were drawn to our booth to find out more. As a result GRAN has established a new network of contacts farther afield.”

Overall, it was an evening that left us all glowing. It was an encouraging reminder that regardless of what we do day-to-day, there are always opportunities to give back and try to make the world a better place. It may sound sentimental, but it’s true. GRAN is out there doing it every day.  Take a moment to learn more about GRAN and their amazing accomplishments as a “a voice for grandmothers and children orphaned by AIDS in Africa” at www.grandmothersadvocacy.org.


It’s a Bird… It’s a Plane… It’s our Campaign for the NAV CENTRE

It’s one of those places you really have to see to believe. A hidden gem along the banks of the St. Lawrence, the NAV CENTRE is Eastern Ontario’s largest conference and meeting facility. It’s fully equipped for productive business meetings and events, including excellent services to help you focus on business success. NAV CENTRE also has resort-like features (including a full-service spa and gym facilities) that will impress bosses and colleagues alike.

This comprehensive offering formed the basis of our campaign: “Be a Meeting Hero”. With budget cuts and an unstable economy, the role of event planner in many companies now falls to whoever is willing to do it. And it’s not easy!

NAV CENTRE has accepted the challenge of making “accidental planners” look like the Meeting Hero of their organizations. The secret is in its competitive pricing and excellent service offering.

 The campaign hinged on a website landing page (navcentre.ca/hero) and included print and online display ads, electronic direct mail pieces as well as Google Adwords and LinkedIn ads.

Perhaps you’re responsible for planning a company meeting or retreat? What are you waiting for? You could become the next meeting hero…

NAV CENTRE Campaign landing page

NAV CENTRE Be a Meeting Hero Campaign
NAV CENTRE Campaign lead gen form


Vlogging In: Place d'Orléans Contest Connects with Ottawa Fashion Elite

Nothing gets the attention of fashionistas quite like a shop-off.

To continue evolving the Place d’Orléans brand into a premier fashion destination, Banfield-Seguin proposed the Vlogger Search Contest, designed to reach fashionistas in a real and relevant way.
The contest began with a call for video entries, which were then narrowed down to 10 finalists. It all culminated in a spectacular event in which finalists were given a gift card and 90 minutes to shop, before filming a vlog describing their shopping spree strategy and its outcome. An experienced judging panel selected the winner, Amanda L. Conquer, who received $300 per month for six months in Place d’Orléans gift cards to keep shopping, shooting, and sharing her exciting finds online.

This dynamic, multi-faceted back-to-school promotion was designed to engage key audiences, tap into the “haul video” phenomenon (a recent Ottawa Citizen article on the subject can be found here), and potentially discover an online personality who could act as brand ambassador for the shopping centre.

To promote the event, we blended social media and local fashion community outreach with traditional marketing, including in-mall signage, radio and online advertising.
Fashion vlogger Search Facebook Contest Page
Banner ad on Loulou
A key objective of the campaign was to engage with top fashion bloggers and build their relationship with Place d’Orleans. So, at the outset, we invited the top 10 Ottawa fashion bloggers to be ambassadors for the Vlogger Search in order to connect with these women of influence and to attract high quality contest participants. We invited them to an exclusive VIP event, complete with swag bags and gourmet treats, during which they created their own vlog.
© Remi Theriault with LJ / Twenty York Street, Emily / Tinfoil Tiaras, Zara and Michelle / Ottawa Vélo Vogue, Emmett / Hippie Lace, Julie Lan / Pop Champagne, Grace / 613 Style, Marcia B Creative, Justyna Baraniecki / Chameleonic and Nini / The Fine Balance.
 The strategy worked beautifully.

We received incredibly positive feedback from the ambassadors who described the contest as “the best event ever” and generated 21 blog posts as well as numerous mentions of @placedorleans and the #vloggersearch contest. Ultimately, the initiative reached 485,000 people on Twitter and 30,000 people on Facebook.

Winner of the Vlogger Search Contest - Amanda L. Conquer (Photo: Brent Gervais)
Contest winner Amanda has since submitted four videos that can be seen on Place d'Orleans YouTube channel.

To make it all happen, Banfield-Seguin partnered with Made in Blog to reach out to the blogger community, and with Parade! to bring together the branded multimedia experience. The secret to success, though, was the tremendous support and enthusiasm of our clients at Place d’Orleans.