From “Bah, humbug” to “A Miracle on Howe Street”

December 3, 2012

by Bruce Nickson

Love it or hate it, the Christmas music in the stores has been in full swing for weeks. Plus, the ads on TV are reminding you to buy presents (like you could forget!) and your social calendar is already filling up. So why attend the BCAMA Christmas Party?

Because, although it will definitely be a party, it’s also an Evening Speaker Series event! Our three wise marketing veterans – Vida Jurcic from Hangar 18 Creative Group, Maureen Broadfoot from the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation, and Rob Schlyecher from Spring Advertising – will share some of the creativity and planning behind great seasonal campaigns.

You know that the truly outstanding seasonal campaigns become part our nostalgia around Christmas and put us in a festive frame of mind. That, plus our speakers’ fresh and festive yuletide ideas – and, of course, the party – will undoubtedly turn your “Bah, humbug” into “A Miracle on Howe Street”, or at least “A merry Christmas to all”!

To help whet your appetite, we spoke with Vida Jurcic about how Hangar 18 is influencing the way we think about Christmas.

Q:  Vida, what is this “Create memories, not garbage” trend?
Vida:  The whole point is to change behaviour around Christmas. Too often, people are giving gifts that are completely non-tangible and are disposable, or end up at Value Village. So the nature of the campaign is to remind people to be a bit more thoughtful and “greener” in their approach to gift-giving. It sounds corny, I know, but it works.

Q:  Can you give us some examples of what you mean?
Vida:  It’s important to mention that we’re not trying to tell people not to buy stuff. We’re just saying that we want people to choose wisely, based on need. For example, buy a used snowboard for your kids, rather than automatically buying a new one. Or get the whole family together and make Christmas cookies for friends or neighbours, rather than going to the supermarket to buy packaged cookies. Another example is giving a teddy bear – people keep those into adulthood. These gifts will have greater tangibility because of the greater degree of involvement from the giver.

Q:  And what about the Richmond Centre campaign – “Believe”?
Vida: This is being done with Leslie Matheson and Maria Valley at Richmond Centre, and with Inventa. The idea is to make the whole idea of Christmas real again, the same way we experienced it when we were kids. For example, there is the real Santa and Mrs. Claus. The elves are real as well. So Richmond Centre is the place to shop and have a real Christmas experience at the same time. The results over the past several seasons have been excellent. So it’s a successful experiential marketing campaign.

Q:  Thanks for your time, Vida – we look forward to hearing more on December 5th about these and other seasonal campaigns!

To learn more about this and other unique seasonal campaigns, and to celebrate Christmas with your BCAMA chapter, register today! Then show up at the Metropolitan Hotel at 6 pm on Wednesday, December 5 – with or without your Christmas spirit. We’ll take care of the rest!

Bruce Nickson (@brucenix), who is a member of the BCAMA Marketline Committee, observes the Social Media scene and once held the fancy job title of Executive Director.