Roots Be Nice Campaign – Strong & Sweet
Being Canadian and being nice are one and the same. My American colleagues always make fun of me for waving people through in traffic or occasionally pronouncing words “funny.” But these are the very reasons why people sew Canadian flags on their backpacks when traveling abroad.
To be Canadian is to be nice.
Canada’s quintessential brand, Roots, recently launched a campaign around this core value that, among other things, calls for entries to find Canada’s nicest person. I just saw the #BeNice commercial at the movie theater and got totally choked up. Good thing it was dark.
When my family immigrated to Canada over 25 years ago, we came here with…not a lot of money, but a whole lot of hope and determination. Leaving a country riddled with crime and terrorism, my parents hoped to build a life for us that would be safe, healthy, and prosperous. I remember arriving here as a kid in the middle of February when Toronto was covered in snow – it was the first time I had ever seen snow! It’s in these moments of great change and upheaval where niceness shines bright – like helping a new family to find snowsuits and boots, mitts and hats.
So, looking at the moments and gestures that the #BeNice commercial showcases evokes not only moments of nostalgia but also moments of gratitude. What I love about this campaign is that it integrates a social media component in the search for the nicest Canadian, using Instagram and Facebook to gather entries (and using very specific, simple instructions – well done!). Nice-branded buttons are also available for sale, with 100% of profits going to a WE charity program for Indigenous Youth.
The web component of the campaign uses a simple and engaging page to explain all the elements of the campaign. Most importantly, in my opinion, it breaks down the different parts of the commercial with educational content that explains the frame-by-frame manifesto (and gives credit to the writer!). This underlying substance is stitched together in a tasteful way (which can oftentimes flop into a hot mess if stories are portrayed too politically or too polarized).
From legalizing same-sex marriage to welcoming 33,000 re-routed passengers after the 9/11 attacks to some of the darkest moments in our nation’s history, this commercial and campaign do a remarkable job capturing the 150 years of my nation’s strength and sweetness.