B!G Gold: Taxi and Bombardier light up the Olympics

Bombardier fired up public opinion by manufacturing and designing the Olympic torch.

The challenge
Bombardier is a high-profile company with a core audience of businesses and governments, so maintaining its brand reputation is essential.
Since 2006, Taxi and MAOR Media Experts have helped Bombardier take control of its corporate image with a brand strategy based around Canadian pride, bringing about a significant and long-lasting change in Canadian public opinion of the company.
By becoming an official sponsor of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, Bombardier wanted to nurture that emotional connection with Canadians. But it was determined that it would be better served by having a true role in the very heart of the Games rather than just “passively sponsor” by broadcasting TV spots.
To break through the sponsor clutter of messages around pride, Taxi needed bring Canadians closer to Bombardier.
The insight

The idea was that Bombardier could design and manufacture the Olympic torch – innovative and strategic, the concept was linked to the company’s brand strategy in Canada. Manufacturing the torch would become the ultimate form of Olympic sponsorship, allowing Canadians to understand, see, touch and fully grasp Bombardier’s involvement in the Olympics. Canadians could be proud of a torch created by Canadians, and the torch would represent the prowess of Canadian ingenuity, thanks to Bombardier.
The B!G idea
The main goal was to improve Canadians’ opinion of the brand by highlighting the message: “A Canadian that puts Canada in the international limelight.”
The creative focused on a key feature of the torch: like Canadian pride, the flame is resistant to extreme weather conditions. Set in an arid, windy location, the launch spot shows the resistance of the Olympic torch – demonstrating Bombardier’s ingenuity. The tagline of the campaign was: “Bombardier. Proud designer of the 2010 Olympic Torch,” an expression of Bombardier’s commitment to making Canada shine on the international stage.
The 30-second spot was broadcast for the first time when passion and attention were at their highest: during the opening ceremonies of the Games in the commercial break just after the arrival of the Canadian team to the stadium, and just before the arrival of the torch.
Twitter and YouTube were also used to interact with Canadians who wanted to communicate with Bombardier. Every time users mentioned the Olympic torch, Bombardier personally interacted with them, thanking them for their interest in the torch and inviting them to view a 42-second version of the spot, broadcast on Bombardier’s YouTube channel.
The impact
Following the Vancouver 2010 Games campaign, an annual survey showed a major upswing in public opinion of Bombardier. The number of Canadians with a very favourable opinion climbed from 25% in 2009 to 32% in 2010.
The opening ceremony of the Vancouver Winter Games was the most-watched event in the history of Canadian television. On average, 13.3 million Canadians viewed every minute of the event and the audience rose to 15.6 million people
when the Canadian team entered the stadium.
It is now estimated that over 15 million Canadians are aware that Bombardier created and manufactured the torch. Furthermore, they took pride in the fact that a Canadian company was responsible for such a success.

What the judges said

“Wow, what a truly innovative way to integrate and build brand equity! Bombardier’s part in the Olympics was unique and ownable. They placed a big bet on a big idea and it paid off.”
–Farrah Bezner, Kraft Canada

“The idea of having Bombardier actually design and build the torch itself was absolutely brilliant,
and so relevant for the brand.”
–Al Scornaienchi, Agency59

“Anything that can lift perceptions of a brand that most Canadians wouldn’t naturally think about
is a great thing.”
–Nikki Hellyer, Future Shop

Jump to:


Silver: Ogilvy bakes, batters and rolls with Robin Hood

Bronze: Taxi and Canadian Tire make change

Judging panel