Taxi Vancouver going über cheesy

Recreating a wacky, centuries-old tradition will be the centerpiece of the first annual Cheese Rolling Festival, developed on behalf of Dairy Farmers of Canada.

Whistler, BC will be the site of Canada’s first-ever cheese rolling competition on August 16.

In case you’re mumbling ‘cheese what‘ right about now, allow MiC to elucidate. Cheese rolling is a wacky, centuries-old English tradition in which a large runaway wheel of cheese rolls downhill with otherwise sane adults in hot pursuit. Whoever catches it wins.

On behalf of Dairy Farmers of Canada, Taxi Vancouver has decided to let Canadians in on the fun at the first annual Cheese Rolling Festival, where homegrown cheeses – even those that don’t make a break for it – will be celebrated.

The event, to be executed by Vancouver’s Smak Promotions with the Taxi team, will be supported by a comprehensive campaign throughout the Lower Mainland. ‘Dairy Farmers of Canada is very happy to work with Taxi on this fun and interactive event that highlights the quality and variety of Canadian and British Columbian cheeses,’ says Bob Stultz, DFA’s director of marketing development and proactive media group.

The tongue-in-cheek promotional campaign, in which cheese rolling is positioned as an extreme sport, launched late last week. It includes TSAs, online banners, radio and cinema ads and signage in Whistler area resto-bars, all driving to a micro-site. As well, an in-store promotion in IGA MarketPlace stores is offering consumers a chance to win a weekend package to the event. Taxi is also developing a viral strategy to help recruit participants through ex-pat sites and local mountain sports-related chat rooms.

‘When you think about creating excitement around a product, what could be more engaging than watching a bunch of people tumbling down the hill in pursuit of it?’ asks Taxi Vancouver CD Michael Mayes. ‘The goal with this initiative was to create something much more dynamic than a simple advertisement, something unforgettable that people could get involved with this year and hopefully for years to come.’

The Whistler event will include many family-style activities in addition to the cheese rolling competition, where participants will vie to win Whistler season passes. Also skedded are cheese seminars, a farmers’ market full of delicious Canadian cheese samples and a ‘cheese obstacle course’ families can pursue together. Afterward, user-generated content from the event will be posted on the event micro-site.