Ads you’ll want to sleep through

The Dairy Farmers of Canada has launched a campaign targeting moments of the week when Canadians are most likely to be tired.

The Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) has been prompting Canadians to “Get Enough” for a while now, but a new campaign shifts the organization’s focus from milk products to sleep.

Its new national “Project Sleep” campaign, which launched Tuesday and is running to mid-August, focuses on boosting awareness about the importance of getting enough good sleep.

With media from Initiative, creative from DDB Canada and PR from DDB Public Relations, “Project Sleep” includes TV, radio, digital and social executions targeting people who are sleep-deprived. One video component includes a spot called “Goodnight Canada” with 30- and 60-second versions, featuring Canadian musician Hayden singing a version of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” The campaign’s two 15-second spots and 5-second prerolls show a dairy farmer staying up late to help viewers who are sleep deprived by shushing them to sleep or telling them a bedtime story.

“Lack of sleep has become a very important public health issue,” said Victoria Cruz, marketing and retail director at the DFC. With sleep deprivation having physical, emotional and economic consequences for Canadians, it’s a major issue, and one that the organization wanted to get behind, even without any of its traditional branding (a departure from its previous work).

“You will not see a glass of milk in the campaign,” Cruz said. Instead, the idea is to position the Dairy Farmers as supporters of Canadians’ health more generally.

The DFC worked with Vision Critical to poll Canadians on sleep habits and found that about 40% report not waking up refreshed in the morning and feeling irritable through the day. Cruz said the campaign uses media to specifically target Canadians when they’re most likely to be tired and thinking about sleep. For instance, the campaign includes a heavy TV and digital buy on Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m., when Canadians reported feeling most tired through the week.

In addition to heavy later-evening TV buys, the campaign also includes radio spots that target potentially sleepy drivers on the way home from work in major markets like Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.

Online, the DFC will be generating sleep-related content on Buzzfeed Canada, buying pre-roll on sleep-related videos on YouTube and placing ads on Facebook and Twitter. All online spots will drive Canadians to, which includes information from sleep experts. From 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., the site is also in “sleep state,” encouraging users to turn off their screens and hit the hay. The site, designed by DDB Canada and developed by Mirum, also includes a discussion paper and insights from The Canadian Sleep Review 2016.


With files from Harmeet Singh