When I was out shooting the 12 million billboards for a look at Winnipeg outdoor advertising, the Shaw “Together is Amazing” (TiA) billboard got a mental sticky note: look further into this campaign. It’s a smidge more sophisticated in terms of palette and style than we usually see in Winnipeg, and I was hooked enough by that to look up the URL—something a billboard rarely gets me to do.
TiA is a new umbrella brand that extends Shaw’s long-time philanthropy into project-by-project community-level activism.
I asked Monique Blough, Brand Manager at Shaw, about the purpose of the branded community effort. “Together is Amazing is about inspiring and motivating communities to do something inspirational and amazing; not necessarily charitable,” she said.
As for the name, Monique adds “The sense of togetherness and unity is the aspiration of our ‘Together is Amazing’ movement. Everyone likes the feeling of strength that comes from being a part of a community“.
The Flash site is adorably animated, though it leaves something to be desired on the iPhone. I do understand (from a resource standpoint) that you can’t please everyone and iPhone users may not be the target audience, but a stripped-down mobile site that facilitated donations would be a good idea.
I realized this campaign was a big deal when I got my bill, flipped it over, and discovered it was doubling as direct mail. Nice to see resources supporting a campaign! I think I actually paid my bill late because the visual appeal kept me from ripping it open.
Then I saw a Shaw van out doing an install, which delighted me from an advertising perspective (I just go nuts when copywriting takes context into account) and because they got another impression on my eyeballs.
Driving out to Shaw’s head office to get a photo of the van, I was surprised to see their own buildings are covered in TiA messages. I realized the Shaw staff must be part of the audience for the campaign. There’s team spirit all over the place. I was reminded of Matt Owen’s thoughts about publicizing your campaigns internally, so staff are on message when it comes up in social networks (or, by extension, customer service interactions).
I asked my brother-in-law Dave, who works at Shaw, if he was getting involved.
“I’ve donated. I’ve worked at Harvest on two occasions, and raised money to buy food in my department.” The goal is to raise 1 million pounds of food across Canada, and Shaw is pretty confident they’ll make it by the 15th.
I’ve also noticed non-TiA Shaw ads using the campaign’s palette and illustration style, shining some of the (deserved) goodwill created by the community campaign back onto the company’s service offerings.
Come on, BABY FOOD.
The first TiA initiative is “food banks”: for every pound of food donated by November 15, Shaw & Campbell’s will each donate a pound. A 2-1 match for your local food bank is a great opportunity, & I urge you to contribute some of the most-needed foods (which I can’t link to directly, it being a Flash site, but I’ll philanthropically type them for you here: pasta & rice, canned meat & fish, soups & stews, peanut butter, canned/powdered milk, beans, cereal, pasta sauce, baby food). In the Peg you can take donations to Shaw at KP and the head office on Scurfield. The food will go to Winnipeg Harvest.