Halifax United Way ‘anthem’ strikes a chord across Canada

No doom and gloom here.

No doom and gloom here.

An optimistic ‘anthem’ highlighting all the positive ways the Halifax United Way contributes to the community has been picked up by about 20 other United Way chapters, including Vancouver and Edmonton, and is set to start rolling out in the new markets this fall. The campaign was crafted by Halifax-based agency Colour in December.

Colour opted to reposition the United Way in a more positive light, rather than just focusing on problems. The agency spent time speaking with social workers who receive funding from the United Way to glean insights. ‘Through our discussions with the [charities] it became evident that there are a lot of positive experiences,’ says Brian Hickling, CD at Colour. ‘We’ve always done the ‘please give’ and ‘hard times’ stories…. We said: ‘Isn’t there a good news story here?”

The positive focus resonated with many other United Way chapters, whose members saw the spot at the United Way national convention this past May. ‘The United Way didn’t just want to be seen as collectors of money. They wanted to be known for the great work they do,’ says Hickling.

The anthem ends with the tag ‘I believe in possibility.’ There is a 30-second version and a 45-second version.

client: Carole McDougall,

director of communications,

United Way of Halifax Region

agency: Colour

CD: Brian Hickling

copywriters: Brad Dykema, Jason Thomas

prodco: Egg Films

executive producer: Mike Hachey

director: David Hicks

line producer: Mike Masters

DOP: Jonathan Cliff

editor: Johnny D, School Editing

sound: Egg Radio

special effects: Crush

Newfoundland and Labrador rub gridlock, smog in Toronto’s face

Taxi tries reverse psychology