Events, Seasonal and Short-Term (BRONZE)

Client Credits: Vancouver Police Foundation
Vancouver Police Foundation
Executive Director: Martina Meckova

Agency Credits: DDB Canada / Vancouver
DDB Canada
Executive Creative Director: Cosmo Campbell / Dean Lee
Associate Creative Director / Copywriter: Neil Shapiro
Art Director: John Larigakis
Agency Producer: Dana Rudelier
Director: Jeff Low
Strategist: Natalie Godfrey
Digital Artist: Tina Palmer
Digital Designer: Shawn McCann
Information Architect / Digital Strategist: Derek Lau
PR Manager: Paige Calvert
Account Supervisor: Roger Nairn
Photographer: Clinton Hussey
Illustrator: Ehsaan Mesghali
Technology Lead: Jeff Kam
DP / Cinematographer: Phil Lanyon
Camera Operator: Dana Barnaby
Line Producer: Dennis Beier
Editor: Don MacDonell
Online Editor / Colourist: Randy Egan
Audio House Producer: Craig Zarazun
Audio House Engineer: Craig Warrian
Casting Agent: Sean Milliken
Media Strategist: Clint Palossari


Business Results Period (Consecutive Months):August 1, 2013 – September 31, 2013
Start of Advertising/Communication Effort: August 1 – September 31, 2013
Base Period as a Benchmark: August 1 – September 31, 2012

a) Overall Assessment

The Vancouver Police Foundation (VPF) provides funding for key initiatives that are not covered by the City of Vancouver’s annual operation budget for the Vancouver Police Department (VPD). Each year the city gives the VPD a budget that meets the minimum requirements for keeping the city safe. This covers salaries and equipment maintenance, but it doesn’t cover everything that the police want to do. For example, if an officer wants to create a relationship with his district (and the initiative needs funding) they turn to the VPF for support. Through it’s members and donors, the VPF has been able to grant close to $3 million to date, toward innovative policing equipment and community outreach programs that would not otherwise have been possible within the regular operating budget of the VPD. The foundation also strives to increase awareness about the everyday heroic actions of the men and women of the VPD.


When the VPF approached DDB they were barely on the radar of Vancouverites. Even though the Foundation has existed since 1976, they only had 139 members, of which 10% were supporting the Foundation financially. Of those that were supporting the Foundation, many were aging and most were donating through corporate means.


The VPD exists among a sea of British Columbia and Vancouver–based foundations and non-profit organizations vying for donor’s attention. In the January 2013 report compiled by InsightsWest entitled Charitable Giving Insights there are over 68 branded registered charities operating in the province alone. And of these, 38 different organizations are recognized by at least three-quarters of British Columbians (Footnote #1). The VPF was barely on the map.


The VPF was lacking awareness. An additional challenge was that their existing members were aging. Therefore, DDB was given the challenge to raise awareness for the VPF and make a base of new donors among younger Vancouverites so that the VPF could reach out to a fresh new audience for financial support. So DDB were tasked with reaching out and raising awareness with the 18-34 year old Vancouver audience. But one of the challenges we had to face was dealing with what is an apathetic audience. According to the report (cited previously), 18-34 year olds in British Columbia say they just don’t think of making donations enough. In total, 35% of the population who make a donation of $100 or less annually are in this age range.

b) Resulting Business Objectives

Our objective was to raise awareness for the VPF over the course of the campaign (from August 1, 2013 to September 31, 2013).

We planned to measure this objective across three KPI’s:

  1. Membership enrollment (increasing the number of members from 139 to 500)
  2. Website traffic (increasing the number of visitors from 450 per month to 1,000)

Earned media followers (from 466 Twitter followers to 550 and 150 Facebook followers to 300.)

c) Annual Media Budget
$100,000 - $200,000

d) Geographic Area
Vancouver, BC.

Footnote #1: Insights West Charitable Giving Insights Report;=5135236 (2012)

a) Analysis and Insight

The VPF was suffering from low visibility amongst a sea of foundations. We knew that just doing another series of charitable asks saying “please support” would only not be effective it would barely even be noticed. We also knew people love police officers but they had no outlet to show their appreciation. When we were younger, we all wanted to be Cops, Firemen, Astronauts or Cowboys. But few went on to fulfill this dream.


We tapped into this insight and created a visual symbol that would allow people to show their support for the police while at the same time getting to be one step closer to becoming a VPD officer (or at least look like one).


We gave Vancouverites the chance to support the police and look good doing it by creating an iconic line of Vancouver Police Aviator sunglasses.


The sunglasses were something that people would genuinely be proud to wear, and that would also be iconic to represent the police.


By creating a line of sought after sunglasses we not only created awareness but a new revenue stream for the VPF and it’s many community assistance projects and provided a morale boost for the VPD. Now the officers could see how much their city appreciates them just by looking around at all the sunglass covered faces.

b) Communication Strategy

We’ve all seen the iconic police aviator sunglasses worn by CSI’s David Caruso, CHIP’s Erik Estrada or Magnum PI’s Tom Selleck. So we worked with one of Canada’s top sunglass retailers (Clearly Contacts) and designed a pair of aviator sunglasses that were stylish, reasonably priced but also branded in a tasteful fashion so that it wouldn’t deter people from wearing them (as we’ve seen in a lot of branded “swag”). During one of the driest summers in Vancouver history, we thought what better way to reach our audience then sunglasses. Each was branded with a VPD mark on the lense, and along the arms and the ear tips were colored iconic police blue. The lenses were tinted to give them that iconic look and they even came in a glasses case that looked and felt like police-grade kevlar.


DDB created a completely turn key solution for the client:

  1. We found the eyeglass supplier
  2. Negotiated a price per unit
  3. Designed the sunglasses and case


To get the sunglasses into our audience’s hands DDB even: 

  1. Negotiated an exclusive deal with one of BC’s premier retailers (London Drugs) to sell them in all their Vancouver locations
  2. Designed a custom POS display for London Drugs, consisting of 6 spaces for glasses and a handy mirror in the outline of a police officer where customers could try on their shades – funny police moustache included
  3. Kept the displays stocked full of product


This was more than just an advertising exercise. We had designed and brought a product to market for the VPF.


The sunglasses were also sold through the online store at To drive traffic to the online store, we knew we’d have to develop creative that would tell our story in a humorous and engaging way so that people both felt heart for the police department, while also wanting to purchase the sunglasses. But we also knew that we had a small budget, we needed to produce creative that would be unique and shareable. Sharable in the sense that we needed to get people to do some marketing for us by passing along these spots into their friends and families social network.

a) Media Used

Through a 2012 Spring PMB study we knew that with our target audience:

-     53% are Heavy internet users

-     65% are Medium-Light newspaper readers

-     42% are Medium TV viewers

-     41% are Medium Radio listeners

-     During the past week they have taken an average of 10 public transit trips

So we sought out to utilize a multi-media strategy to educate and engage our target audience while driving them to the website.



With a smaller budget, we partnered with a single TV station to leverage dollars towards a sponsorship package. Global TV has the most news viewers in Vancouver, along with 6 of the top 10 rated programs. So we negotiated a 1:1 dollar matching for bonus spots above our media partner negotiated rates. In the end our schedule consisted of approximately 75% :30 second spots and 25% Closed Captioning.



Knowing that our target uses transit on a consistent basis we wanted to utilize transit shelters to reach donors for a hyper-local presence. CBS Outdoor provided a 1:1 PSA discount and maximized reach by freeing up inventory so that we had 36 TSA locations.



We ran the :30 TV spots as pre-roll ads across different networks to increase impressions. Knowing they were close to the point of purchase we felt it would minimize the barriers of driving consumers to the retail website. To minimize these barriers, we made sure that users could click through directly to the website and purchase their glasses or learn about the Foundation.


Earned Media:

The creative was launched at the VPD morning news conference resulting in multiple news sotries about the sunglasses in the local media.


Street teams were used to bring the idea to life.

b) Creative Discussion


We developed two :30 spots (“Deflated” and “Hood-slide”) that communicated “Wearing the glasses supports the cops. It doesn’t make you one”. We’ve all wanted to be a police officer at some point in our lives. Maybe the sunglasses can get you a little closer to that reality. The spots ended with a call to action to “Get your sunglasses and support the VPD” by visiting



We developed 2 print executions (“Crows Feet” and “If Looks Could Kill”) that played on the iconic police badges. Each used the intricate details of the badge to display our copy. In each case, the call to action was “Support the Police and look good doing it. Pick up a pair of Police Glasses at”




Street Teams:

Street Teams were deployed (comprising of Foundation volunteers) at many of the city’s crowded special event locations during the summer months – including the Vancouver gay pride parade, the Celebration of Light Fireworks Festival, the summer Stanley Park Open Air Cinema, the Vancouver Canadians baseball game and the Vancouver Whitecaps soccer match. The teams handed out postcards about the campaign and sold the glasses on the spot. During our summer Open Air Cinema, Vancouver Canadians baseball and Vancouver White Caps soccer games the :30 TV spots were repurposed for cinema and large screen use.


With all communications channels pointing to, we designed the site to give people an opportunity to purchase their sunglasses immediately, while still learning about the Foundation through sharing some of their stories and successes. Each pair of sunglasses came with a card explaining the Foundation in bite sized pieces, but encouraged users to visit the website where they could register as a member and learn more. But to enhance the social reach of the campaign, a tag attached to the sunglasses encouraged people to share a “selfie” of themselves wearing the sunglasses. By sharing their photo online and using the hashtag #vpdpartners users were entered into a draw where one lucky customer could win a police ride-along experience.

c) Media Discussion


a) Sales/Share Results

Our objective was to raise awareness for the Foundation over the course of the campaign (from August 1, 2013 to September 31, 2013).

We exceeded that objective:

  1. Membership enrollment increasing the number of members from 139 to 1330, making it one of the largest Police Foundations in North America.
  2. Website traffic increased from 450 per month to 11,350.
  3. Earned media followers from 466 to 591 Twitter followers and from 150 to 430 Facebook followers.


These results are significant considering the VPF had very low awareness levels and exists amongst a sea of other Vancouver foundations vying for the public’s attention (Footnote #2).


On top of this, the VPF raised over $152,000 during the course of the campaign. 


But what really showed the success of the campaign came six months after the campaign wrapped up, when the foundation held their annual charity gala – which raised over $2 million and was attended by over 1300 people – which the client attributes to the awareness generated by the campaign. The Gala was the highest attended charity event in Vancouver in 2013/14 by over 15%. The campaign put the VPF on Vancouver’s non-profit map and cemented a solid base to build from for years to come. 

b) Consumption/ Usage Results

c) Other Pertinent Results

d) Return on Investment

Footnote #2: Insights West Charitable Giving Insights Report;=5135236 (2012)

a) General Discussion

The “Sunglasses” campaign was the only communications in market for the VPF during the campaign dates.


Therefore the success of meeting our objectives can be 100% attributed to the campaign.

b) Excluding Other Factors
Spending Levels:




Distribution Changes:


Unusual Promotional Activity:


Other Potential Causes: