CASSIES Bronze: Vancouver Police Foundation leaves others in the shade

To raise awareness with a younger audience, VPF created an iconic pair of branded aviator sunglasses.

sunglassesIMG2Events, Seasonal and Short-Term

Situation Analysis: The Vancouver Police Foundation (VPF) provides funding – close to $3 million to date – for key initiatives not covered by the City of Vancouver’s annual operation budget for the Vancouver Police Department (VPD). Even though the Foundation has existed since 1976, it was lacking awareness and had only 139 aging members, of which only 10% were supporting the Foundation financially, mostly donating through corporate means. VPF needed to raise awareness with the 18- to 34-year-old Vancouver audience who were notably apathetic, to reinvigorate the VPF membership.

Insight & Strategy: People love police officers but they had no outlet to show their appreciation. There was very high awareness of the iconic police aviator sunglasses worn by CSI’s David Caruso, CHIP’s Erik Estrada and Magnum PI’s Tom Selleck, so the creation of an iconic line of Vancouver Police Aviator sunglasses would allow people to show their support for the police.

Working with one of Canada’s top sunglass retailers, a stylish, reasonably priced pair of aviator sunglasses were designed and branded with a VPD mark on the lens.

Execution: The “Sunglasses” campaign ran from Aug. 1 to Sept. 31, 2013, across television and outdoor to educate and engage the target audience while driving them to The creative was launched at the VPD morning news conference while street teams were deployed (comprising of Foundation volunteers) at many of the city’s special event locations during the summer months, handing out postcards about the campaign and selling the glasses on the spot.

With all communications channels pointing to, the site gave people an opportunity to purchase their sunglasses immediately, while still learning about the Foundation through sharing some of their stories and successes. Each pair of sunglasses came with a card explaining the Foundation and a tag attached to the sunglasses encouraged people to share a “selfie” wearing the sunglasses using the hashtag #vpdpartners. The glasses were also sold exclusively in all London Drugs Vancouver locations.

Results: Membership increased from 139 to 1330 (versus a target of 500), making it one of the largest Police Foundations in North America. VPF raised over $152,000 during the course of the campaign and the annual charity gala (held six months after the campaign wrapped up) raised over $2 million and was the highest attended charity event in Vancouver in 2013/14.

Cause & Effect: Website traffic increased from 450 per month to 11,350 during the campaign. The “Sunglasses” campaign was the only communication in market for the VPF during the campaign dates.

Client: Vancouver Police Foundation
Executive director: Martina Meckova
Agency: DDB Canada / Vancouver
ECDs: Cosmo Campbell, Dean Lee
ACD/CW: Neil Shapiro
AD: John Larigakis
Agency producer: Dana Rudelier
Director: Jeff Low
Strategist: Natalie Godfrey
Digital artist: Tina Palmer
Digital designer: Shawn McCann
Information architect /digital strategist: Derek Lau
PR manager: Paige Calvert
Account supervisor: Roger Nairn
Photographer: Clinton Hussey
Illustrator: Ehsaan Mesghali
Technology lead: Jeff Kam
DP/cinematographer: Phil Lanyon
Camera operator: Dana Barnaby
Line producer: Dennis Beier
Editor: Don MacDonell
Online editor/colourist: Randy Egan
Audio house producer: Craig Zarazun
Audio house engineer: Craig Warrian
Casting agent: Sean Milliken
Media strategist: Clint Palossari