Touché!phd turns up the heat

Quebec media agency finds non-intrusive way to stir up ads and editorial.

In an unusual blend of advertising and editorial, a Quebec campaign cleverly melted a print ad onto an article to promote infrared heating devices.

Gaz Métro, a natural gas supplier in Quebec and Vermont, coloured the lower third of a page red in the business journal Chefs d’entreprises to give the impression the content is heating up. On another page, a faux article appears charred beyond recognition, ‘like a wave of heat escaping from a heater,’ according to Montreal-based media agency Touché!phd. And in an online ad component of the campaign that debuted in December, the text housed on Branchez-Vous! Techno blushes when a mouse passes over it.

‘The idea behind this campaign is to use editorial content to try to catch this hard-to-get audience,’ says Karine Courtemanche, VP media at Touché!phd. ‘It’s the type of campaign where content and advertising have to work hand-in-hand.’

Because the product was relevant to the publication’s readership, Courtemanche says it made sense to combine an ad with editorial. ‘This publication is sent to all the people who make decisions when it comes to their heating systems,’ explains Courtemanche, who adds that it would be hard to pull off in broader publications. ‘Hopefully we’ll do more, but it’s very tough.’