Ontario NDP Campaign
In 1990 the Ontario Liberals called a snap election—18 months before they had to. (Sound familiar?) They assumed they would win, but through research we discovered voters felt the Liberal government wasn’t listening to their constituents. We tapped into that dissatisfaction and developed this campaign for the NDP. History was made: Ontario elected its first NDP government.
A quirky, unique brand deserves a quirky, unique promotion—even for a test drive program. So with a very small budget we created the ‘stolen Saab’ transit shelter campaign. In turn, it created a lot of buzz and free media coverage. And helped sell a record number of Saabs that year.
Canadian Association of Optometrists
Many of us believe our eyes are fine if we can see well. But nothing could be further from the truth. We needed to expose this myth and motivate Canadians to visit their optometrist every two years, as only optometrists give eye-health exams and can detect eye diseases before they become untreatable. After this commercial aired, a significant number of Canadians started to see their optometrist regularly—just as they regularly see their doctors and dentists.
Toronto International Film Festival
Before it was known as TIFF, the Toronto International Film Festival was struggling for broader awareness among more regular movie audiences. The festival was perceived to be a bit a ‘high-brow’ in 1991—a somewhat exclusive affair for the cognoscenti. Our challenge was to alter this attitude while creating greater awareness. And to make it even more of a challenge, there was no ad budget.
So we created a poster that would turn heads, grab attention and create news. It worked beautifully. Ticket sales increased dramatically; media coverage, including interviews with the festival chairperson (Helga Stephenson) was extensive; and the poster itself sold out—which at that time was an important revenue generator for the future TIFF.
Canadian Chiropractic Association
Back pain, neck pain, headaches and other nerve-related ailments are often a frustrating part of life. Typically, we reach for pharmaceutical solutions, which can be unhealthy and don’t address the underlying problem. In contrast, chiropractic care is natural, drug-free, fixes the source of the pain, and is affordable. It’s also delivered by the chiropractor’s two hands. This insight inspired our team to put a whole new spin on the phrase ‘take two.’
The Kyoto Protocol negotiated in 1997 was seen to be a significant breakthrough. Industrialized nations around the world agreed to cut carbon emissions by 5–6% of their respective 1990 levels. However, by 2002 few of the signatories of the 1997 Accord had ratified the protocol – including Canada.
Greenpeace was offered free media space by ZOOM Media. They came to ryanedwards for a campaign that would engage the public, inspiring people to put pressure on Prime Minister Jean Chretien. The result was a concept that leveraged the media placement (posters placed in restrooms of bars, restaurants and universities). In its cheeky way, it urged Canadians to log on to the Greenpeace website to register their concern over Canada’s foot dragging.
The outcome? Greenpeace saw a significant increase in web traffic—and Canada eventually ratified the Accord.
Since 1986 Hope Air has arranged free flights to help financially-disadvantaged Canadians get the healthcare they need. Hope Air is the only registered national charity that provides free flights to people who can’t afford the cost of an airline ticket to cities where they can receive the medical expertise or specialized medical technologies they need.
Hope Air asked us to develop a new brand position and a range of communication materials explaining the important role they play. We created the identity and the brand tag line that is still being used today: Hope Air. We’re not an airline, we’re a lifeline.