The Walrus goes big out West

The magazine targets Calgary with its largest outdoor campaign to date.
Walrus image 2

The Walrus magazine has stepped up its game with a campaign that doesn’t fit its usual promotional mold.

Working with creative agency Wax, the magazine has blanketed Calgary’s city core with cheeky creative on trains and bus platforms, billboards as well as in restobars, David Leonard, manager of events and special projects, The Walrus Foundation, tells MiC.

Because of budget constraints, he says, The Walrus has typically limited its marketing to occasional event giveaways and small media pushes. The agency offered to create a pro bono campaign that targets Calgarians for its June issue. The cover feature looks at the relationship between the city’s past and future, which is why the magazine decided to focus its efforts only in the western city, says Leonard. The Walrus also wanted to create awareness of its city visit for a debate on Calgary’s cowboy culture on June 7.

The Walrus also wanted something that would speak to the wit of its readers with somewhat counter-intuitive copy that would catch the eye of those who share the magazine’s humour, says Leonard. The OOH ads can be seen in CBS Outdoor, Pattison Outdoor and Newad faces, with taglines such as: “It’s probably not for you,” “Most people don’t get it” and “Don’t subscribe.”

“We wanted to blanket the city,” he says of the placement. “Frankly, a lot of our readers are educated, downtown, urbanite types. We want to make sure that they know what we’re doing and especially what we’re [featuring] about Calgary.”

“We’re targeting all of the educated, thoughtful and curious people,” he adds. “Those people could be 20 [or] 60. That’s the beauty of doing transit downtown, you get everybody.”