Ontario Colleges call youth to action

The college advocacy organization launches a campaign that speaks to Aboriginal youth, aiming to encourage post-secondary education.

A multimedia direct marketing campaign, coupled with the slogan ‘Break Your Own Trail,’ was launched yesterday by Colleges Ontario in hopes that it will encourage Canada’s Aboriginal youth to enter into post-secondary institutions.

The $400,000 campaign will include advertisements directly targeted at Aboriginal-focused media across Canada, reaching an audience of younger and older generations, Sally Ritchie, media relations and communications, Ontario Colleges tells MiC.

Print, online and radio advertisements, designed and executed by Spirit Creative in Vancouver, direct potential students to Yourowntrail.ca where they are encouraged to explore the 24 Ontario colleges listed on the site.

Media outlets where ‘Break Your Own Trail’ ads will run include Turtle Island News and Anishnabek News as well as radio stations in French and English -CKWE and CFJB FM – all of which reach Aboriginal community reserves.

According to Ritchie, campaign posters using a mix of indigenous symbols – such as forests, land and streams – appeal to the campaign target audience and will be distributed in reserves across Canada.

With Spirit Creative’s focus on designing promotional content for groups reaching out to Aboriginal communities, the creative agency was a good fit as it understands the needs and challenges that the communities face, explains Ritchie.

‘The campaign was developed to reflect the needs of the community. We wanted an advertising firm that is Aboriginal in nature,’ she says. ‘Ken and John Sioui, who run the firm, are both Aboriginal Peoples. They led the consultations of the campaign and they developed the creative concepts for the ads.’

The ‘Break Your Own Trail’ campaign is set to run in April and May, and again from October to November.