Cause + Actions Awards 2015

Bell rides away with the top prize in this year's awards that celebrate the best cause campaigns in the country.
Bell Clara 2

While they mostly operate in different spheres, this year’s winners have at least one thing in common – they all focused on one important cause closely tied to their brand identity.

Bell, which is this year’s overall winner, has championed the discussion around mental health for a few years now through its “Bell Let’s Talk Day” campaign. And last year, the brand expanded on this one-day event, joining spokeswoman and Olympian Clara Hughes on a cycle tour across Ontario, raising awareness and funds over 110 days.

Canadian Tire and its non-profit Jumpstart, which have spent years supporting hockey and baking it right into the brand’s DNA, also expanded their efforts with “The Big Play” – a program that saw the organization commit to funding kids’ dreams to play hockey. CIBC also reinvented its “Run for the Cure” to put people in the shoes of those suffering from breast cancer and stand out amongst new charities entering the market.

And while these campaigns grew bigger and bolder in scale, there were also smaller, niche programs that mirrored their brand’s personality. As judge Allen Oke of TBWA\Toronto put it, “The best campaigns were those that clearly understood what [the cause] was about, and inherently represented the qualities of the brand.”

Kashi’s “Plant it Forward” program, which educated Canadians on “real food” and encouraged them to grow their own, was lauded for being a direct extension of the brand. As was Samsung’s “Look at Me Project,” where the brand used its own tablets to create social and emotional connections among families challenged by autism.

Read on for more on these campaigns, which received top marks from this year’s panel of marketer, agency and cause consulting experts, who assessed the entries on their brand DNA, uniqueness, awareness, legs and overall success.

The winners:

Overall winner: Bell’s big ride for mental health

Kashi’s green thumb creates (real) impact

Canadian Tire levels the hockey playing field

CIBC runs in someone else’s shoes

Samsung looks autism in the eye

The 2015 judging panel