TVO sparks small talk for downtowners

The two-day stunt puts TVO-branded water coolers promoting conversation topics (get it?) in Toronto's downtown core to promote its edgy new documentary line-up.

TVO is betting the Bay St. crowd is thirsty for more than just stock talk and hopes to give it to them with a new campaign promoting the network’s fall lineup of edgy documentaries.

Targeted at the 45- to 60-year-old demographic, the ‘Change the conversation’ campaign will see TVO set up branded water cooler exhibits in Toronto’s downtown core today and tomorrow.  TVO staff will be manning the water coolers, offering free cups of water branded with TVO’s fall programming schedule to passing commuters. The signage around the water coolers will ask provocative, conversation-sparking questions, such as: ‘Is Keith Haring’s work childish or brilliant?’

The two-day event kicks off the larger media campaign, developed by Leo Burnett in Toronto, surrounding the new lineup of documentaries. A media buy, handled by MBS, will extend until December and include TV, OOH, Go Transit station advertising and online media oriented around arts and entertainment. The strategy was to change the perception that people typically have of TVO – as a network strictly for the older generation and children – with a mix of traditional and non-traditional media, David Buckspan, group accounts director, Leo Burnett, tells MiC.

‘That’s where the non-traditional, unconventional and alternative media come into play,’ he explains. ‘We want the brand and the people to experience something. We want to give the people something to talk about. We’re literally using the water cooler as a metaphor for idle chit chat and small talk.’

Today, the coolers will be found at 20 Dundas St W between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and tomorrow at the Exchange Tower on King between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m.