Top TIFF ad picks

The Toronto International Film Festival recently wrapped and in case you missed them, here’s a recap of a few TIFF-related advertising acts that won over crowds.

RBC’s original take
RBC touted its status as official bank of the Toronto International Film Festival with an ad campaign celebrating originality in film. Developed by BBDO Toronto, it spanned print, program guides, newspaper, wall projections and various other collateral, but the three TV spots that also acted as cinema trailers really stood out. They offered original spins for three movie genres – western, horror and the buddy comedy – including an alt scenario featuring two guys working at a sporting goods store, who need a quick 50 large. The “unoriginal” solution of entering a golf tournament is partnered with the “original” concept of a man made of money (literally) arriving on the scene. It leaves the audience with something more to think about, as buddy movie seems poised to morph into horror.


Audi’s sticky stunt

With the help of Toronto-based Lowe Roche, Audi leveraged TIFF to promote its quattro all-wheel drive system. To illustrate its cars’ grip factor, they stuck it to the film festival, literally, with a marketing campaign that also gave festival-goers something to take home. Audi stuck hundreds of 1:43 scale models of its cars on metal surfaces including lamp posts, newspaper boxes, mailboxes and street signs throughout key festival areas – even the poles that held up the velvet ropes surrounding a Cadillac. The media campaign also included newspaper, magazine, online banners and escalator wraps, planned by Mediacom, and a direct component handled by Toronto-based BIMM Communications. It was, as Lowe Roche called it, a gripping performance.


Energizer’s Bollywood street bash
Energizer brought a lot of energy to the corner of College and Bay streets in Toronto to promote its first time as a TIFF sponsor. For a week leading up to the beginning of the festival, a giant pink box mysteriously sat at the busy Toronto intersection with no indication as to its contents.
That all changed on the first day of the festival when Energizer unleashed a Bollywood-style performance featuring 100 dancers, a drum corps and, of course, the Energizer bunny. Inside the box was the “Now that’s Positive Energy Machine,” which began doling out prizes to passersby, including tickets to TIFF premieres. The machine travelled to different locations, injecting energy into the city over the next four days. Agency instigators were Toronto’s Simon Pure Marketing and MP Thread, a division of Media Profile.


Astral said it with film
Astral used TIFF trailers to illustrate its support of Canadian cultural industries. The cinema spots take a look at what the film, TV and music industries would be like if they lacked financing. One spot, for example, depicts a writer meeting with a producer to pitch a film, and based on the producer’s innate frugality, humorously portrays what the final, unfortunate product would look like without proper funding. Let’s put it this way: knights in shining armour don’t look so heroic riding bicycles. Developed by Bos in Montreal, both spots are airing on the mediaco’s pay-TV and specialty services, effectively getting the word out that every year Astral invests over $170 million in Canadian culture. What works about these spots?
That they so perfectly speak to the TIFF audience.