The Indie List: Bold PR strategies for unstable times

Pomp & Circumstance draws on its creative roots for new Plan As
Pomp worked with Mercedes to offer influencers a once in- a-lifetime glamping event, escaping the city to a winter wonderland under a glass dome – safe and socially distant.

Pomp worked with Mercedes to offer influencers a once in- a-lifetime glamping event, escaping the city to a winter wonderland under a glass dome – safe and socially distant.

Toronto-based PR firm Pomp & Circumstance has been busier than ever as marketers adjust their mix to find new ways to connect to socially distant audiences and influencers. Reaching those targets during a pandemic has certainly taken a rethink.

With their roots in the agency world, Pomp founders Amanda Alvaro and Lindsay

Mattick still consider themselves a creative shop first. So, when the world got complicated, they got creative.

For Amica, Pomp helped create the Smiles for Seniors campaign, bringing joy to the elderly isolated by COVID - and gaining tons of attention in media and social.

For Amica, Pomp helped create
the Smiles for Seniors campaign,
bringing joy to the elderly isolated
by COVID – and gaining tons of
attention in media and social.

When Dermalogica returned to market during COVID, Pomp sent out picnic kits so influencers could have a socially-distant picnic while learning about the latest sunscreen. When it was time to launch its Retinol Clearing Oil, Pomp hosted a paint night with an artist on Zoom so guests could get creative while learning about the product.

“Part of it is really pushing yourself to be more imaginative and more creative than you’ve ever been,” says Alvaro, “to engage audiences who, over time, have become really fatigued with being online.”

You saw that in recent work for Mercedes-Benz. With so many people missing out on fall fun, Pomp pitched the brand on a glamping event, taking influencers a few hours out of the city to a winter wonderland under a glass dome – safe and socially distant.

For client Amica Mature Lifestyles, they helped create the public-facing Smiles for Seniors campaign, all about bringing joy to the elderly isolated by COVID. It was picked up by national media and became a social movement, with weekly challenges on Facebook and Instagram garnering tens of thousands of likes.

Alvaro stresses that these efforts only happen when brands are willing to lean in. “You have to have the kind of client who’s going to think: ‘We can do it, we want to invest in it, and we’re willing to take creative chances that will pay off in big ways.’”

It’s an approach that’s resonating. This year, the agency added clients like Mercedes-Benz Canada, New Zealand-based Nood, Park Hyatt Toronto, mobile dating app Hinge and automobile lifestyle brand Hagerty.

Pomp helped Dermalogica be first to market in its category, thanks to innovative virtual experiences like a socially-distant picnic and Zoom-based paint night.

Pomp helped Dermalogica be first
to market in its category, thanks
to innovative virtual experiences
like a socially-distant picnic and
Zoom-based paint night.

“We’re lucky that we have clients who want to try new things and be inventive,” says Alvaro. “I don’t think we would thrive with clients who aren’t into big, bold thinking, because that’s what we stand for.”

The now 16-person shop grew to meet those needs and added more capabilities.

“We were doing much more in the digital space, the virtual space, integrated media – the intersection of where earned meets paid,” she says. “Our offering has doubled in terms of the type of work – everything from video production, social media and paid media – which is the future of PR.”

Alvaro adds the qualities of a small indie “scrappy, creative and fast” were a good fit for 2020. “Something comes in the door, we can turn it around quickly. That’s what we’re good at. That’s really the advantage of working with a boutique shop like ours.”

CONTACT:
Amanda Alvaro
President and Co-Founder
Amanda@pomppr.com