Veterans Affairs Canada says thanks

The government's Remembrance Day campaign includes a new Facebook app that encourages Canadians to show their thanks, as well as TV integrations on CBC and Bell Media channels.

Veterans Affairs Canada is looking to make every day Remembrance Day with a new campaign that highlights the daily sacrifices made by members of Canada’s military.

With media buying by Cossette, media planning by MEC and creative by Manifest Communications, the campaign targets adults with a specific focus on engaging younger adults, aged 18 to 25. It relies on partnerships with Bell Media and the CBC, which will see 30-second spots air across their TV properties and also include integration into programming.

Through Bell Media’s MuchMusic and MusiquePlus properties, Veterans Affairs Canada is hosting a contest that encourages viewers to share how they remember for an opportunity to win a cross-Canada trip. Meanwhile, on CBC veterans are appearing on programming like Steven and Chris, where they’re receiving makeovers, and will also be featured in an upcoming episode of Battle of the Blades.

Debra Sharp, digital director, Manifest Communications, tells MiC that the campaign creative aims to change Canadians’ traditional perception of veterans as older male soldiers by portraying veterans of both sexes and from all walks of the military, whether it be military doctors or peacekeepers.

Veterans Affairs Canada’s TV strategy is supported by digital buys, including homepage takeovers on YouTube, banner and pre-roll ads on MSN.ca, Yahoo.ca and Canoe.ca and a microsite, all of which drive to its new Facebook application.

The app, which also includes content from Twitter and Instagram, encourages visitors to show their thanks to veterans with messages and images using the hashtag #showyourthanks. It also includes a gallery that shows split images of veterans as they looked when they served and as they look today.

Rounding out the social strategy, Veterans Affairs Canada has Facebook ads and promoted tweets, and will also be encouraging Canadians to extend the moment of silence for veterans at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11 to their social media channels.

Sharp says that the spend behind this year’s campaign is on par with previous years, noting that Veterans Affairs Canada grew its social media presence for this year’s initiative, including using Instagram for the first time, to better engage Canadians with Remembrance Day by having them lead the conversation.

The campaign will be in market until Nov. 11.