BGC breaks down barriers in first post-rebrand campaign

The non-profit is familiarizing people with its new name by focusing on the opportunity its breadth of programs provide.

BGC-CanadaBGC Canada is introducing its new identity by focusing on the opportunity it creates for youth of different ages, backgrounds and genders.

This spring, the organization formerly known as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada rebranded to BGC Canada, a move aimed to better reflect its mission, both in terms of the age of the youth it serves and the gender inclusivity it wants to embody.

In its first national campaign since the rebrand, BGC Canada’s “No More Barriers” is a digital-first effort that shows a diverse array of kids who participate in the group’s programs proudly proclaiming that they won’t be stopped by obstacles in their way.

“It’s our first time out of the gate as BGC, and a real opportunity to plant that marker,” according to Rachael MacKenzie-Neill, VP of marketing and development at BGC Canada. “It’s not just a new identity, this campaign is speaking with a new voice.”

She adds that a visually-driven dialogue-free, punchy approach is more attention grabbing in a space that’s very cluttered.

“Part of our challenge is we do so many things for youth,” MacKenzie-Neill says, and that it’s had a tendency with its previous messaging to emphasize of all them, instead of being more focused on the impacts they collectively create. BGC is hoping to change that in its new campaign, with a rallying cry based around how the opportunity all of its programming creates can “change everything.”

With youth mental health concerns on the rise amidst the pandemic, and kids being isolated at home, MadKenzie-Neill says BGC Canada programs will be more impactful than ever. She says BGC considers its clubs a kind of “third place,” after home and school, but the second and third options have been taken away for so many. Coming out loud with its new identity as lockdowns and safety measures ease is meant to show the importance of that “third place” for youth and parents looking to respark connections between youth.

BGC is also activating now to have federal election-related “noise” in the rear-view mirror, while still giving people time to get better acquainted with the name change: there’s references to the organization’s old name in the campaign, but MacKenzie-Neill says those will be phased out by early 2022. Feedback to the name change thus far has been very positive.

“We’re confident in the decision that we’ve made, and the early research is bearing that out,” she says.

BGC worked with agency Round on the campaign, which also handled the organization’s rebrand. Media Kitchen handled the media buying.