CAN Fund wants Gold for Gold

BBDO and the Canadian Athletes Now (CAN) Fund are soliciting unwanted jewellery to raise money and awareness for Olympic-bound athletes.

Cheesy music, ticker-tape 1-800 numbers, cheap B-roll shots – not exactly what you would expect from BBDO. But the agency’s newest spot, “Gold for Gold,” riffs off the infamous gold trade-in commercial genre to help the Canadian Athletes Now (CAN) Fund raise money and awareness for Olympic-bound athletes. The spots actually solicit people’s unwanted gold.

“Even though gold has never been more valuable, people still leave it sitting at the bottom of their drawers until it’s valueless,” says Peter Ignazi, SVP/ECD, BBDO Canada. “So we thought, why not take [the gold] and turn it into something people do value. It’s a straight transaction: if you give us your unwanted gold, we’ll give you wanted gold in London.We wanted to have fun with some of the spots, but make them seem as legitimate as possible.”

The spots, purposefully made with a low-budget look and feel, will be supported by a website, Facebook page, print and online ads, as well as a strong PR push that involves the athletes themselves.

The campaign launched in mid-April and will run on donated media until June, says Ignazi, adding that he hopes the spots will live past the Olympics.

Apart from raising funds for elite athletes – many of whom live on $18,000 a year – the campaign is also intended to educate viewers on the ongoing need for support, says Ignazi.

“Canadian athletes sacrifice so much in their lives,” he says. “This will encourage people in a unique, creative way to feel like they’re giving something more than a cash donation.”