“You guys are great.”
“You invented the Internet!”
“Your natural park systems protect some of the most beautiful places on Earth.”
These are just a few of the kind words us civil Canadians had to say about our Southern neighbours Tell America It’s Great.
Created by Toronto agency The Garden Collective, the campaign was aimed at doing what we Canadians do best: being nice to everyone.
In pretty jarring Presidential debates and a looming election date, The Garden Collective wanted to do its Canadian due diligence.
This is what captured our minutes this week.
1. The friendly messages are a self-funded campaign that the agency launched just ‘cause.
How often does the business world let itself just be creative? Even amongst those of us who dwell in a creative space, we still get stuck within workbacks, client expectations and job responsibilities.
Regardless of the cost (the agency kept their wallet contributions under wraps), this agency did a total brain dump.
Be real: the American election is on all of our minds. So why not talk about it in a way that hasn’t been done before?
Why not let creativity run free and just go along for the ride? (Hint: the answer is that there is no answer).
From time to time, it’s important for people, regardless of their industry, to just get all those whirling ideas out and into the real world. We like how The Garden Collective just went out on a whim and created something.
We need more of that in our world (especially when it’s positive!).
2. It sparked discussion.
As with anything, some people really loved it, and some people really hated it.
The people who really hated it thought it was “the smarmiest, most condescending bullshit” ever.
On the other hand, the people who really loved it admitted that America has “99 problems for sure” but that Canada isn’t one of them.
But yet, it wasn’t even this discussion that was the most important. It was the flood of responses that The Garden Collective received when asking for video contributions to include in the final compilation.
“The best part of this whole journey so far, has been discovering all of the amazing things about America that we ourselves either didn’t know or hadn’t considered.”
This campaign was fuelled by UGC in the best way possible. Good content moves people and makes them want to be a part of something bigger. Hell, it forces them to turn off the auto-pilot and actually think.
3. The warm messages managed to really bring two historically very separate audiences, together.
Being totally honest, we Canadians, in all our chivalry, still like to differentiate ourselves from those south of the border. Likewise, Americans tend to view us as a totally foreign entity that may as well be in Europe.
Yet, The Garden Collective’s work with their video made separate strangers from the two sides of the border come together.
Americans shared their appreciation, and we reminded them that we don’t always make them the butt of the joke. In fact, we acknowledged the superpower that is the US, which is something that we typically don’t admit to.
That’s awesome. Quality content doesn’t have borders. It might have a target audience, but it has the capability of transcending differences and distances to make an impact.
For something that was put together in the spur of the moment, it’s pretty special to have it take off like that.
Hey America, you’re great and you'll be just fine.
Round of applause to The Garden Collective for their work (over 1 million views already!). Thanks for reminding us all what makes us Canadian.
At the end of the day, people engage with content by lending their minutes. Content is successful when its battery is fully charged with attention.
What will win this week?