To create a nation-wide public engagement campaign to raise excitement and awareness of Calgary during the 2012 Calgary Stampede Centennial using earned media to support three separate campaign partners: The Calgary Stampede, Travel Alberta, and Tourism Calgary. Massive country, big celebration, awesome challenge.
We designed the campaign to roll out in phases, all centering around a symbol every one of the partners could get behind: the White Hat – a symbol of Canadian hospitality unique to Calgary and fitting for a Calgary Stampede Centennial.
The campaign began with ‘Feels Like Home’ private media events in Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto. Hosted in the private home of a Calgarian, with a Calgary chef in the kitchen, Calgary artists performing and creating on site, invited media was given an authentic snapshot of Calgary’s personality and a tease for the big events yet to come – not to mention a White Hat. This phase had a culinary tourism focus.
If “Feels Like Home” was the tease, the White Hat Drop was the punch line – with phase 2 being a cross-country media stunt that encouraged thousands of people to participate and more than half a million dollars in media value without spending a dime on advertising. In each city, 200 White Hats were laid out in public spaces (Vancouver Art Gallery, Calgary’s Olympic Plaza, and Toronto’s Dundas Square) and 200 locals from each city were invited to compete for a once in a lifetime trip to Calgary.
To seal the deal, Anstice ignited a collaboration between celebrated Canadian designer Paul Hardy, Smithbilt Cowboy Hats and the Globe and Mail to create 40 one-of-a-kind cowboy hats and award them to 40 extraordinary Canadian celebrities (including Sydney Crosby, Michael J. Fox and Jann Arden) demonstrating the values of the White Hat. Thousands of Canadians contributed to the campaign though online nominations and five walked away with their own Commemorative Paul Hardy Hat.