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Brand pivot during

the Covid Era

Strategy, Creative+Branding, Experiential

Over the past year, the threat of wildfires in western Canada have loomed heavy in the hearts of many Canadians. For those living in affected areas, it’s been a period of unrest and devastation – a time when support and relief have been needed most.

Two of our clients, Okanagan Spring Beer and Subway Canada came to us determined to lend a helping hand towards these communities. Instead of moving forward with more traditional summertime programming, they were keen on pivoting to a solution that directly gave back. Although we at VIBRANT merely facilitated the “giving back” side of things, we were happy to have helped these two great brands do something special.

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Okanagan Spring Beer

The wildfires in BC hit home for our friends at Okanagan Spring Beer. As the province went into a state-of-emergency, one of the many regions largely affected was Vernon, home to OSB’s brewery. In February 2021, OSB launched their Terrace Mountain Session IPA in partnership with FireSmart BC to help raise awareness for wildfire prevention. The brewery pledged to donate $0.50 per 6-pack and $0.10 per pint of sales in 2021 to the Canadian Red Cross to support wildfire relief. OSB had originally planned to contribute a max of $20,000 by the end of 2021 – however, due to the increased threat and devastation happening in BC, their team decided to increase donation measures, bringing the Terrace Mountain Session IPA collaboration efforts to $60,000 in aid, at a time where the province and regional communities needed it the most.

The efforts of OSB are what kickstarted VIBRANT’s involvement. OSB came to us, wanting to take initiatives to the next level. In addition to providing significant financial aid through the sales of their Terrace Mountain Session IPA, OSB wanted to address the topic of wildfire prevention. The best way in doing so was to educate British Columbians on necessary fire safety protocols. VIBRANT’s solution was to launch a province-wide guerilla campaign that incentivized folks to take a fire safety quiz, all while highlighting the great Canadian beer.

From August to Labour Day weekend, VIBRANT BA’s visited parks and beaches across BC, handing out full cans of OSB. Branded swag was awarded to anyone who participated in the fire safety quiz. The activations successfully equipped consumers with potentially life-saving information, and rewarded them with a delicious beer.

Giving people an easy-to-enjoy beer is always great. Giving them an easy way to help a cause is even better.

Subway Canada

In the midst of the BC wildfires, Subway Canada was another brand eager to lend their support. Together, we helped Subway plan a relief effort that involved visiting affected areas and dropping off goods for local residents and workers.

The program, which ran from August 12-19th, 2021 saw VIBRANT Brand Ambassadors embark on a rigorous week-long tour, visiting 20 different stops in 7 days. Many of these stops included fire and police stations, community halls, schools, hotels and evacuation centres, along with several parks nearby affected areas.

At each stop, our BA’s handed out Subway gift cards, coupons and tote bags – a gesture designed to help feed evacuees, volunteers and front-line workers who were under tremendous stress.

It was a busy, jam-packed week, but knowing we helped out so many communities made it more than worth the while.

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Looking forward

A great brand is always mindful of its communities and their needs. We’re lucky to work with clients who understand that. Our activations with Okanagan Spring Beer and Subway Canada this summer meant so much to the agency – from the folks in our offices, to our BA’s on the front-line, we all love playing a part in these programs.

If you and your business are currently exploring similar solutions, we’d love to help.