Smart shares love of learning

A first-ever media campaign by the educational brand encourages consumers to share their thoughts on their favourite teachers with a digital short film and a Facebook-centric approach.

Almost everyone has a favourite teacher – someone who helped tie a shoe, explain what an integer was or suggest a path for the future. Starting today, Smart Technologies, a Calgary-based manufacturer of interactive whiteboards, is encouraging consumers to share the name of their favourite teacher and why they made such a big impression.

The multimedia ‘Love of Learning’ campaign, with creative by Sharpe Blackmore and media by sister agency Media Contacts (both in Toronto), includes three main media: a campaign microsite in seven different languages ( is the English URL), the brand’s YouTube channel and its Facebook pages, also translated into seven languages. The microsite is the hub of the campaign, featuring the ‘sharing’ component, in which visitors are encouraged to nominate their favourite teacher, and interactive elements, such as the ‘Magic Classroom’ short film that demonstrates the product’s benefits and a short ‘tribute’ film that focuses on the role teachers play in students’ lives.

The website also features a contest entry page where visitors can share their teacher nomination and be entered to win a Smart whiteboard for a school of their choice.

The website connects directly with the social media strategy via Facebook Connect and the multilingual brand pages that have been created for each market. The pages are being promoted with a Facebook media buy and with a seeding strategy through the social media site and blogs, explains Chris Williams, managing director, Media Contacts, Toronto.

‘The buy is heavily focused on Facebook because the ability to show video and gather comments and fans is very strong, plus the analytics between the page and the media exposure are better than usual ad-seeing data,’ he explains of the media strategy.

This is the first mass-media campaign for Smart, which previously targeted its marketing efforts toward the educational industry. In reaching out to the end users of the whiteboards – the students and, by association, the teachers – Smart aimed to both increase awareness of its brand and integrate a CSR element into its approach by promoting education and educators, Jeff Plowman, VP client services and strategic planning, Sharpe Blackmore, tells MiC. The social media strategy of the campaign is an important part the CSR focus, he explains, because it allows them to keep the conversation ongoing, and contribute to it.

‘Once you get into that [social media] environment, you realize that there are certain tactics that you need to implement so that you are justifying your place and earning your place in that environment,’ Plowman says. ‘We’re participating in the dialogue and this movement, and that’s not a one-way conversation.’

The campaign launched this week in Canada and the US and is set to roll out across Europe over the next few months.