Gov commemorate ‘end of an era’ with ad

The Government of Canada expands its Vimy Ridge Day celebrations with a national and regional television media buy in light of the passing of Canada's last known WWI vet.

When Canada’s last known WWI veteran John ‘Jack’ Babcock passed away last month, the Federal Government decided to step up its Vimy Ridge Day ceremonies with a purchased media campaign to encourage interest in the commemorative day.

Involving television, print and radio, the campaign starts today and will remain in place until Vimy Ridge Day on April 9. It is not the first advertising campaign done to promote the day, but it is the first time there has been a media buy to support it. The passing of Babcock warranted an extra effort to get Canadians to recognize the occasion, Teresa Maclean, Veteran Affairs Canada’s director of communications, tells MiC.

‘This is a very short campaign,’ Maclean explains. ‘We weren’t planning on doing any advertising per se. We were primarily going to do our outreach through a PSA, social media channels and our website, but then we’d thought we’d get some advertising to raise more awareness for people to get out to the April 9 event.’ The PSA features a combination of WWI archival images and modern-day footage of the late Mr. Babcock.

The ‘Canada Remembers: The First World War – The End of An Era’ campaign includes national and regional TV (both purchased and PSA inventory) in Victoria, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Quebec City and Halifax, and radio and print advertising targeted at Ottawa and Gatineau through regional media. Creative was handled in-house, Cossette conducted the media buy.

Vimy Ridge Day was conceived in 2003 to commemorate the battle that took place during 1917 at Vimy Ridge, France, during WWI.