AToMiC 2021: Direct attention

AToMiC ideas that were tailored to get audiences to think, act or listen intently.

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You are reading a deep dive into the insight and ideas that propelled the winners of the 2021 AToMiC Awards to success. For the full list of winners, visit the AToMiC website, and be sure to check back for more deep dives into this year’s award-winning work.

This story originally appeared in the Spring 2021 issue of strategy.

Rallying the troops

The Wins: HomeEquity Bank “Pause to Remember” by Zulu Alpha Kilo
Gold Digital Engagement; Silver Cause + Action; Silver Niche Targeting

Since the great world wars, veterans have shared wartime stories with their kids and grandkids. Most over the age of 40 have heard a grandparent share memories of brave soldiers and, equally, the atrocities of war. Thankfully, Canada has been at peace for quite some time, but that means younger generations’ only connection to war tends to come from the entertainment world.

As a sponsor of the Royal Canadian Legion, HomeEquity Bank wanted to help the non-profit educate those younger audiences about the importance of remembering the heroes who helped protect their liberties and freedoms.

Working with Zulu Alpha Kilo and gaming platforms Twitch, Mixer and YouTube, the bank conducted the first global online game cease fire. At exactly 11am on Remembrance Day, almost one million gamers from 114 countries laid down their controllers, pausing to remember that war is not a game.

The mass response was helped by high-profile gaming influencers as they rallied the troops prior to the event, which helped increase the average donation amount for digital poppies by 20%. Many of the gamers also asked how to get involved in the campaign going forward, showing the potential to become an annual tradition.

No yelling required

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The Wins: IKEA “Baby Proof Spotify Ads” by Rethink
Gold Audio Branding; Silver Niche Targeting

IKEA likes to think of itself as a “sleep expert.” It has the mattresses, blackout curtains and temperature-controlling linens to give anyone, even the most notoriously eratic sleepers – newborns and their exhausted parents – a restful night.

So when moms and dads took to Twitter to complain about the obnoxious ads that play during whitenoise playlists on Spotify (interrupting their babes’ sleep while dozing off to the lullabies), IKEA decided to step in.

The retailer’s agency Rethink came up with the idea to buy up all of the ad space on popular sleep playlists for babies and replace the loud ads with extra soft and shushy ones. They created 11 spots with quiet VO of IKEA’s Swedish spokesperson, set to the backdrop of crashing waves and calming sounds.

The campaign ran as a lead-up to IKEA’s bedroom event, and included banner ads that drove parents to its sleep solutions. The audio ads drove a click-through rate 25% higher than Spotify’s average.

And while ads typically diminish the user experience, the retailer managed to enhance it by keeping babies asleep, finally giving thankful parents some much-needed peace.

So custom it’s covert

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The Win: Interval House “ESCape Abuse” by Union
Gold Niche Targeting

How do you get life-saving information to women in abusive relationships when their abuser is constantly looking over their shoulder? Worse, how do you reach those women when lockdowns create even more distance from those who can help? You create a secret site that hides information to help a woman escape in plain sight.

That’s what Interval House and Union did during the peak of the crisis, as a way to get those isolated women to reach out for help.

The site was promoted as a fashion/lifestyle hub on women-focused sites like Elle Canada, on TV shows like Cityline, and through ads on Pinterest. When a person pressed the “ESC” button on their keyboard while visiting the site, it transformed from being “The Way to Live: A Style Guide for the Modern Woman” to “The Way to Leave: An Escape Plan for Abused Women.”

Articles included everything a woman needs to know when considering their escape – from what to pack in an emergency bag to how to disable GPS tracking.
The site drove them to the Interval House where they could get help, which many did. In fact, it resulted in an 89% increase in women reaching out. Even in the darkest days of the lockdown, the organization found a way to reach women without alerting their partners, helping them “ESCape Abuse.”

The impact of the double-take

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The Win: Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec “Living Radars” by Lg2
Gold Experiential Engagement

Likely stuck in auto-pilot, many Quebec drivers forget to take it slow on the roads where young ones walk to and from school. It’s a serious issue and one that the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec asked Lg2 to tackle head on.

The goal was to get drivers to stop taking risks and adhere to the 30km/h limit in school zones. The solution was to make them think before putting foot on the gas by turning child students into a living radar.

Lg2 created a backpack that displays, in real-time, drivers’ speeds. Children were asked to wear the bags as they walked through the school zones. So instead of seeing their speed on a stationary sign, drivers saw their speed on a potential speeding victim – a child.

As a result, the Quebec police noticed reduced speeds in school zones and are now recommending the backpack be distributed in elementary schools across the region.