Designing choice

Camp Jefferson digs deep early to find the killer differentiator.
 Camp Jefferson’s “Glory from Anywhere” campaign for the Canadian Olympic Committee and the 2022 Winter Olympics leans into distinctly Canadian values including respect, bravery, determination, and diversity.

Camp Jefferson’s “Glory from Anywhere” campaign for the Canadian Olympic Committee and the 2022 Winter Olympics leans into distinctly Canadian values including respect, bravery, determination, and diversity.

To explain why Camp Jefferson has been an ideal agency partner for almost a decade, Telus’ Lise Doucet says it’s best to go back to the beginning.

The agency launched as Dare, part of Vision7’s European network. Canadian expansion and subsequent acquisition by BlueFocus saw Dare Toronto rebrand as Camp Jefferson, which has 45 staff in Toronto. The agency’s underpinnings lie in channel-agnostic strategy, complemented by a technology practice, in-house design, and a strong focus on communications.

The agency’s “Not Suicide. Not today” campaign for CAMH wasn’t just about raising awareness and urgency around its main issue; it focused on time and emphasized hope about potential treatments and changes in the way society perceives mental illness and suicide.

The agency’s “Not Suicide. Not today” campaign for CAMH wasn’t just about raising awareness and urgency around its main issue; it focused on time and emphasized hope about potential treatments and changes in the way society perceives mental illness and suicide.

Doucet, VP, marketing communications for Telus’ KoodoMobile and Public Mobile, says what became clear at the start of their relationship was that Camp Jefferson was digging deep to understand Koodo’s business model and audience.

The agency’s “Not Suicide. Not today” campaign for CAMH wasn’t just about raising awareness and urgency around its main issue; it focused on time and emphasized hope about potential treatments and changes in the way society perceives mental illness and suicide.

The agency came to the pitch with “Choose Happy,” a message positioning the brand as a source of happiness in an otherwise frustrating mobile world. Bright colors and upbeat images figured in the branding. “And as a brand promise, ‘Choose Happy’ is still very much alive today,” Doucet adds.

Designing choice is the goal, says Peter Bolt, Camp Jefferson’s EVP, managing partner. “Everything depends on being chosen: sales, subscriptions, likes, shares, renewals, and referrals,” he elaborates. “The KPIs we chase are all the result of people choosing your brand over your competition. But each day, new competitors, technologies, and cultural changes make that choice more complex.”

That choice is an ever-present challenge for Doucet and her brands. Just as “Choose Happy” helped Koodo stand apart early on, Camp Jefferson also came up with the “Shock-Free Data” campaign to further differentiate the brand.

Koodo offers the same services as the other price-conscious flanker brands, but what Doucet calls “a simple data notification feature we all have” was reframed as something unique by illustrating how it worked – alerting users about billing thresholds before they happened and saving them money if used correctly. “It became a reason to buy Koodo,” she says.

For the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Camp Jefferson’s ability to understand the brand and its goals was more important than ever, starting with the campaign, “Not suicide.Not today.”

The agency’s “Not Suicide. Not today” campaign for CAMH wasn’t just about raising awareness and urgency around its main issue; it focused on time and emphasized hope about potential treatments and changes in the way society perceives mental illness and suicide.

The agency’s “Not Suicide. Not today” campaign for CAMH wasn’t just about raising awareness and urgency around its main issue; it focused on time and emphasized hope about potential treatments and changes in the way society perceives mental illness and suicide.

“They’re low on ego, and high on empathy and humility,” says Sarah Chamberlin, CAMH Foundation’s VP, marketing and donor experience. “They’re just very curious humans.”

The “Choose Happy” campaign for Koodo Mobile positioned the brand as a source of happiness in an otherwise frustrating mobile world, helping the carrier stand apart in a crowded field and remaining a brand promise.

The “Choose Happy” campaign for Koodo Mobile positioned the brand as a source of happiness in an otherwise frustrating mobile world, helping the carrier stand apart in a crowded field and remaining a brand promise.

These characteristics are essential to engender the conversations and messaging for which CAMH strives. While that campaign was on deck forearly 2020, Camp Jefferson and Chamberlin were sensitive to putting out messaging around suicide when the pandemic first hit.

Their partnership facilitated the nimbleness necessary to postpone that campaign and pivot towards another that featured tools and messaging to help people during COVID-19. The result was “Apart. Not alone,” built around media booked for the original campaign, incorporating social video and TV spots, ads in The Globe and Mail, and PR efforts.

The goals and results were twofold. It helped audiences understand what CAMH is, and made them aware of resources available to them. CAMH reports that between this campaign and the ultimately activated “Not suicide. Not today” it was able to help more than 500,000 people.

Internally, Bolt says Camp Jefferson invests in the whole person, not just the employee, providing developmental and learning opportunities, along with an environment – virtual or IRL – that is inclusive, collaborative, and flexible.

“Growth is why we’re all here,” he says. “Clients’ business growth, certainly; but it’s the personal, intellectual, and life growth that keeps people around the same table.”

Bolt says one of the best indicators that Camp Jefferson’s model works is its “Likelihood to Recommend” scores. Client responses “have stayed at or above 90% since we opened.”

As long as our staff is choosing to stay with us, and our clients would recommend us, then we’ll keep focusing on being the greatest source of growth for us all.”

CONTACT:
Peter Bolt
EVP, Managing Partner
peter.bolt@campjefferson.com

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