The Historica-Dominio Institute Promo, Case study A HISTORIC REMEMBRANCE DAY by DDB Toronto

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Industry Education
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Canada
Agency DDB Toronto
Released November 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Charity and Not for Profit
Managing Director: Martine Levy (DDB Public Relations)
Account Manager: James Loftus (DDB Public Relations)
Senior Consultant: Greg Vallentin (DDB Public Relations)
Director Of Corporate Communications/Public Relations: Paige Calvert (DDB Canada)
Senior Consultant: Erin Bodley (DDB Public Relations)
Media placement: Consumer PR (Media Alert, Media Release (Consumer & Trade Media), PR Event, Photo/Cutline) - Globe And Mail, Marketing Magazine, Ad Forum, Ads Of The World, CityNews, Digital Journal, Etc. - November 9 - November 11, 2011

Summary of the Campaign
To honour Canada's wartime sacrifices, November 11th is designated as Remembrance Day. The familiar term 'Lest We Forget' reminds Canadians to be thankful to those who have selflessly served our country. However, as time passes, these great sacrifices are at risk of becoming a distant memory.

With the historical date of 11/11/11 on the horizon, the agency saw an opportunity to deliver an once-in-a-lifetime message to Canadians reminding them of the selfless sacrifices our veterans have made.

To do this, the agency conducted an extensive search for a partner, ultimately approaching the Historica-Dominion Institute (HDI), the largest independent organisation dedicated to Canadian history. The HDI was looking for a way to promote its Memory Project, an educational initiative that connects Canadians to veterans, and with that, the natural partnership was born.

To draw national, and local attention to the Memory Project and provide a powerful connection between veterans and Canadians, the agency photographed actual veterans, side-by-side, saluting their fellow countrymen to create an emotionally-charged '11/11/11' symbol, marking the date: November 11, 2011.

This iconic imagery was brought to life by a live billboard, featuring real saluting cadets, which appeared at Toronto’s Civic Remembrance Day Ceremony. Aggressive media relations promoting the initiative accompanied the activation alongside advertisements appearing in key national media outlets and locations across downtown Toronto.

In the end, the campaign connected veterans with Canadians and shattered all measurable objectives, generating 4.4m media impressions and an unprecedented 343% increase in donations to the Memory Project.

The Situation

As time passes, the great sacrifices Canadian veterans have made for our freedom are at risk of becoming a distant memory. As Canada prepared to honour Remembrance Day, the HDI wanted to give our World War veterans an opportunity to connect with the hearts and minds of Canadians, many of whom have never known war.

In addition, the Memory Project, an educational initiative by the HDI, allows Canadians to witness our proud history by connecting them with veterans. The program, however, needed stronger public awareness to honour our veterans’ sacrifices and help drive donations.

The Goal
HDI and the agency prepared quantifiable goals that addressed HDI's primary needs, including:

• Increasing website traffic by 50% compared to the same period in 2010
• Increasing donations by 25% compared to the same period in 2010
• Generating 10 positive editorials among key publications
• Obtaining 2,000,000 impressions using Canada’s standardised editorial measurement system, MRP. Qualitative criteria was set as: 1) HDI and The Memory Project mentions; 2) 11/11/11 image in colour; 3) key messages. Achieve an MRP quality score of 90% (industry-standard is: 75%)
• Cost-per-contact: $0.00 for this pro-bono project

Our target audience was identified as all Canadians, specifically in the Toronto area.

The Strategy
The campaign idea originated from the fact that Remembrance Day 2011 fell on an once-in-a-lifetime date: 11/11/11. Therefore, the agency looked at creating an iconic representation of this unique date, featuring actual saluting veterans, men and women of diverse backgrounds from the Canadian Navy, Army and Air Force. This powerful imagery relayed their message of remembrance and honour on behalf of their fallen comrades, and was accompanied by the symbolic Remembrance Day poppy and one simple word: 'Remember'.

The agency determined that a combination of national pro-bono advertisements (TV, print, digital banners, etc.), and strategic PR, including an aggressive media relations campaign and a live installation at one of the country’s largest Remembrance Day ceremonies, would be the most effective means of communicating the HDI’s messaging and addressing its needs.

The agency began planning the campaign only weeks prior to Remembrance Day, and as a result, timelines were extremely tight and with a budget of $0, the agency had to be efficient and solicit substantial donations from suppliers, proving pivotal to the campaign’s success.

Despite these challenges, the agency moved forward, and in that short timeframe:
• Partnered with one of Canada’s largest organisations dedicated to our heritage
• Developed the print advertisement
• Negotiated ad placement with media suppliers (i.e. The Globe and Mail, The History Channel)
• Brainstormed the live installation and negotiated its reveal at the City of Toronto’s Remembrance Day ceremony

On the days prior to the reveal, the agency began conducting extensive media relations, followed by the live installation on the 11th at Toronto Old City Hall, featuring 6 saluting cadets in the formation of 11/11/11, witnessed by key media.

Documented Results
Did Canadians remember? Absolutely. The campaign wildly out-performed expectations and exceeded each of our pre-set objectives:

1. Raising awareness, the campaign garnered a 233% increase in website traffic

2. HDI experienced a tremendous 343% increase in donations. These funds are now supporting The Memory Project, preserving and sharing the sacrifices of thousands of veterans, for generations to come.

3. Media relations generated a reach of more than 4,400,000 impressions with 17 positive editorials in mainstream and marketing media (print, online and television).

4. Under Canada’s standardised measurement evaluation system for earned media, MRP, the cost per contact for programming was: $0.00, as this was a pro-bono project. The campaign generated a quality MRP score of 100%, meaning all pre-determined criteria and tone was met.