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Posted by Eno Qiu on July 28, 2017

The spirit of #Canada150 covered our nation like an original Hudson's Bay blanket, thoroughly - and from coast to coast.

For marketers, this milestone birthday was an opportunity to remind Canadians why their brand matters by leveraging our feelings of patriotism, our emotional roots and our shared love for the amazing country we call home.

Holiday marketing campaigns come in various shapes and sizes, and while many brands went to bat, only a few hit a home run. Here are some of our favourites:

TIM HORTONS - Born In Canada 

 

 

There’s just something about these sentimental Tim Hortons commercials that tug on the heartstrings of Canadians, coffee and hot chocolate lovers alike. Their Canada 150 promotion was no exception.

In addition to their Born this Way brand awareness campaign that resonated with practically everyone in the country, Tim Hortons sent Canadians into a state of frenzy (not confirmed), by returning their “RRRoll Up the Rim” contest for the second time in one year. This campaign proved that Tim Hortons is not just another business, but that they understand Canadians and are a part of what makes Canada, Canada.

ROOTS - Be Nice

 

 

We think it’s safe to say that out of all of the corporate Canada Day campaigns, Roots #BeNice is the most stereotypically Canadian. They tuned into the heart of the nation and aimed at the most well-known adjective in Canada, next to "sorry" - "nice".

This goosebump worthy commercial leverages momentous victories for humankind and tells a story of what it means to be Canadian.

If this campaign doesn’t make you proud then we give up! Not only did Roots take a literal spin on their name - the call to action to “be nice” resonated with audiences as a personal challenge to do better.

RBC - Make 150 Count

 

 

Royal Bank of Canada zeroed in on the future of Canada by targeting millennials with their patriotic campaign on how a bank can be a relevant part of daily Canadian culture.  

Their series of documentary style videos titled “Make 150 Count”, gave thousands of young Canadians $150 and challenged them to make it count. By showcasing good deeds from St. John's to Vancouver, RBC painted a picture of a bank that cares about our nations' youth - and by empowering them, we inspire prosperity in society and hope for the future.

Fairmont Hotel & VIA Rail - Great Canadian Railway 

 

 

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and Via Rail go together like French fries and gravy. Where you find one, the other won’t be too far behind, at least in major cities across Canada.

For Canada 150 these two brands joined forces to create an epic 20-day journey across the country for their guests to see Canada in a once-in-a-lifetime trip. This one minute video captures quintessential Canadiana - beautiful landscapes, rustic style cooking, inconsistent weather and multicultural experiences we have adopted as our own.

Although an over-the-top trip might not be more than a dream for many, this campaign proved that exploring Canada by train should be on everyone's bucket list.

Chevrolet - Canadian Dream

 

 

It is interesting to see how an American company like Chevrolet, who can also be found praising their American heritage one moment, can insert themselves into the #Canada150 dialogue the next.

Their campaign, the Canadian Dream, ironically reinvents an American idea by making the dream less about stereotypical wealth and more about the little moments in life that matter the most. The video has clocked in over 1.5 million views, showing us how an automaker can demonstrate their corporate citizenship by connecting local pride with their own values.

If there is one thing we can be reminded of by the strength of the Canada 150 campaigns we saw this year, it is that the story matters the most. How brands insert themselves into the conversation is secondary to the skill of the storyteller.  

Which Canada Day campaign was your favourite? Let us know!