Canada Media Fund shows where your favourite shows are “Made”

A new campaign aims to promote homegrown film and TV to help the industry compete.

While Canada’s TV and film sector has been successful, many people are still not aware of just how ingrained it is in the country’s cultural fabric. A new campaign by the Canada Media Fund aims to change this.

“Made” (“Nous” in Quebec) is a 60-second ad which aired during Sunday’s broadcast of the Oscars, highlighting the people and places featured in Canada’s biggest exports – such as A Handmaid’s Tale (filmed in Toronto), Orphan Black (shot in the Prairies) and Stranger Things actor Finn Wolfhard (Vancouver-born) to cite a few.

Valerie Creighton, president and CEO of Canada Media Fund (CMF) tells strategy it is “building on the idea that the industry is successful, contributes to GDP, and has incredible talent and entertainment.”

The campaign took two years from conceptualization to execution, once all the creative collaborators got on board. “Made” is a collaboration between CMF and Telefilm Canada, as well as agency partners Torque Strategies, 123w and Agence Cartier.

Actor Christopher Plummer narrates the English version, which begins with Ryan Gosling’s home town of London, and ends with Ryan Reynolds as the Marvel character Deadpool shouting, “Canada.” Karine Vanasse, star of CTV crime drama Cardinal, which currently airs in seven countries, narrates the Francophone version. The ads are similar, except for Quebec-specific programming in the montage section.

Creighton hopes this public-facing campaign will get Canadians more aware of all the productions and people involved in building domestic content, and get them to seek out more of it. But she also hopes it will nurture and attract the next generation of actors, creators, technicians, especially those who are behind the scenes and don’t get the same credit as A-listers.

Just like any other industry, she says, “money is difficult, and focus is difficult” [and] we need the right tools to compete internationally, which is getting tougher and tougher.” Creighton was at a Latin American trade conference and points out that her counterparts in Mexico, Colombia and Argentina are facing similar challenges with not only making content, but “discoverability” of content as well.

Creighton says she first became aware of the “Made” concept while on a trip to the Maritimes, where she spotted an elastic lobster claw band on the ground which read “Made in Canada” and it struck her that it “connects you to a product and a place.”

“Made” is at the asset completion stage and it currently being determined what the precise next steps for the campaign, which is part of a long-term focus for CMF, will be. Creighton says the “Made” brand is not intended to replace or reduce anyone else’s visibility, such as production studios or broadcasters like CTV, and is meant to be incorporated into their brands, without overwhelming it.

“We have a tsunami of choice as consumers,” Creighton says. “We want Canadian stories and talent to be part of that broader picture.”