PR

Just in time for Cannes, we round up the best in Canadian PR.

NEDIC targets fake perfection
Having an eating disorder is difficult enough without being exposed to countless images of impossibly skinny models, retouched to perfection. The National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC) wanted the fashion industry to know the impact they make, and to start a conversation.
A campaign by Toronto-based Zulu Alpha Kilo that launched in early March, just after Eating Disorder Awareness Week, featured a Toronto transit shelter with a slot for women to drop off beauty magazines, reading “Shed your weight problems here.” Meanwhile, about 200 fashion leaders and beauty marketers were sent greeting cards that read “Thanks for helping to make me a successful anorexic,”
and a T-shirt with a tiny waist read, “Please try this on to experience how your ads make me feel.” The campaign drove to Nedic.ca, where visitors could watch a video and sign a petition to make the industry adhere to the tagline: “Cast responsibly. Retouch minimally.”
The efforts resulted in coverage from major media outlets like the Globe & Mail and National Post, which ran a full-page story in which the editor of Fashion magazine spoke out in favour of the campaign. It even got picked up as far away as the UK and Japan.
And it certainly made an impression in the blogosphere. Zak Mroueh, president/CD of Zulu Alpha Kilo, notes that thousands discussed it on blogs. 
“What I learned from it was the power of a really simple idea and how quickly it can spread, even with a very small budget,” Mroueh says.

Banff leverages squirrel power 
Who knew a little squirrel could cause such a ruckus? When a mischievous rodent popped up unexpectedly in a photo taken by visitors to Lake Minnewanka in Banff, it became an internet sensation. The image, which first appeared as Nationalgeographic.com’s photo of the day, soon made the email, social media, mainstream media and blog rounds, and Banff Lake Louise Tourism (BLLT) pounced on the opportunity. The organization worked with Vancouver-based Radar DDB to turn “Crasher Squirrel” into a tourism mascot.
Online, BLLT launched “Banff Crasher Squirrel: The Movie” on YouTube, which was covered on CNN and became the most popular travel video in Canada. The squirrel also appeared on The Real Banff National Park blog and “photobombed” leading blogs and websites by popping up and commenting on the content. Facebook and Twitter pages were launched, and the latter garnered 3,000 followers. And an Adwords search engine marketing campaign leveraged interest in Crasher Squirrel.
Offline, Crasher popped up on all sorts of BLLT collateral, including billboards, stickers and even jewellery.
The campaign was covered by major media like the CBC and CTV, and there have been over 500 million Crasher Squirrel hits online. Not bad for a little campaign centred on a tiny squirrel that cost less than $5,000.

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