Fido lets the dolls out

What's white, four storeys tall and completely unbranded?

What’s white, four storeys tall and completely unbranded?

The Fido Fidolls! The two larger-than-life executions in question popped up around Toronto late last month. The plain, white, featureless dolls – one male, one female – were placed at opposite ends of Toronto, and steadily made their way towards each other over eight days. They met up in front of The Burroughes Building on Aug. 27, to mark the spot for a mysterious ‘Fido Art Session,’ featuring exhibits by well-known artists and a performance by Vancouver-based dance-punk band You Say Party! We Say Die!

Fido Sessions is a new concept being rolled out in the Toronto area and led by Sébastien Moïse, Fido’s Toronto-based marketing manager, Ontario. The dolls are the visual identity for the Sessions, which will feature quarterly events around art, culture, design and fashion in the Toronto area. ‘Within a year, people will see these dolls and say, ‘Oh, there’s another Fido event,” says Chad Borlase, co-CD at Bos Toronto.

The events, which were developed with Toronto- and L.A.-based District Lifestyle Marketing, will be light on Fido branding, with – gasp! – no dogs allowed. ‘The concept steps away from the brand a bit,’ says Moïse, adding that they opted to do a three-week unbranded teaser campaign leading up to the first event. ‘We want to gain people’s hearts first and then let them know that it’s Fido backing it up.’

The events are being promoted completely below the line, with a multitude of fun guerrilla executions featuring the Fidolls. The first series, the Art Sessions last month, spread the word via the first Canadian use of Flogos (flying logos), as well as wild postings, chalk art and tree hangers (concentrated in Toronto’s trendy Queen West area) depicting only the Fidolls and SMS instructions. Intrigued passersby could text 411 to 10987 to receive info about the events.

The Art Sessions entailed three artists’ exhibits at three different Queen Street galleries over a period of three weeks, culminating in a group showing on the 27th. ‘The strategy is to take over Queen Street West. That crowd is 100% our target,’ says Moïse. Fido branding at the events was subtle. For example, party-goers could use Fido handsets to order drinks at the bar. All Sessions include value-adds for current Fido customers, like access to limited-edition prints by the artists.

Fido created a Facebook app where users can enter their cell numbers to receive info about upcoming Sessions, as well as a WAP deck with artist bios. It opted not to do a traditional microsite, choosing instead to keep things mobile. ‘There’s a tree of communications being built through SMS,’ explains Moïse, adding that they worked with Toronto-based Magnet Mobile Media.

Next up is the Jet Session, set for late September or early October to keep up the Sessions’ momentum. The dolls will be deployed for more yet-to-be-announced promotional activities. Consumers can find clues at Fido retail locations to help them figure out how to score invites to an exclusive party at Toronto Island Park, at which some of the guests will board a plane to finish the party in New York City.

advertiser: Sébastien Moïse,
marketing manager, Ontario, Fido
agency: Bos, Toronto
CDs: Chad Borlase, Gary Watson
AD: Ibraheem Youssef
copywriter: Mwewa Frederick Nduna
client service: Jennifer Sullivan,
Katherine Fryday
media planners: Kyleen Labreche, Jill Wellard, Emily Ouellette
event planning: District Lifestyle Marketing

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