Loonie lobby goes viral, old-school style

Victoria, B.C.'s Dogwood Initiative, a not-for-profit environmental organization, has launched a pretty slick protest against oil tankers.

Victoria, B.C.’s Dogwood Initiative, a not-for-profit environmental organization, has launched a pretty slick protest against oil tankers.

If you dig into your pocket to retrieve a handful of change, you might find a loon mired in an oil spill. Two hundred thousand black vinyl oil-spill decals were applied to loonie coins and distributed by the organization, which is 195,000 more than the number of dollars it cost to craft the entire campaign.

Posters featuring oil spill facts drenched in the black stuff are included in the viral effort developed by Vancouver-based Rethink Communications, which went for maximum impact with a limited budget. ‘A coin passes through a lot of hands in a day,’ explains Rethink copywriter Jason Perdue. ‘We wanted something that could spread.’

The campaign, which launches this month, strives to make Canadians aware of plans to build oil pipelines and a supertanker port, threatening a 35-year federal moratorium on tanker traffic off the coast of B.C. The creative drives to notankers.ca, where consumers can sign a petition asking the Canadian government to legislate a permanent ban on oil tankers in the province’s Hecate Strait, Queen Charlotte Sound and Douglas Channel.