Responses by Zak Mroueh, chief creative officer/founder, Zulu Alpha Kilo
Background: Our client, HomeEquity Bank, briefed us to create a campaign to support the Canadian Legion and its digital poppy initiative. Our job was to recruit a new generation of online supporters. The target is millennials and Gen Z-ers whose only connection to war is through video games like Call of Duty.
Reasoning: We looked at many ideas, but the one that got us all most excited was #PauseToRemember. In Canada, the poppy is a symbol of Remembrance Day. On November 11th at 11:00 am, it’s a tradition to have a moment of silence to remember all of those who have served. This year, to attract a younger audience to the poppy drive, we’re asking gamers to lay down their controllers for a moment of silence to remember the war veterans.
Challenges: Finding the right influencers in the gaming world. Getting in touch with them took some time. We were fortunate that BigtimeRob, ColeXI and PrismaticHub were some of our first streamers who joined the cause. Once we got them on board, it helped with the recruitment of other streamers and increased the potential of this campaign going global. Twitch, Mixer and YouTube are the main platforms we’re using to spread the word.
Favorite details: We could have simply run a series of short and long form content with the hopes of getting people to share it, but our team took the time to think of an inventive way to resonate with the very people we wanted to reach online. We even supplied an online toolkit for gamers to recruit and share as a way for others to get involved at www.pausetoremember.ca.
Visual influences: We took a generic gaming console and modified it to show a poppy, and placed it over the buttons that would typically be used for a game. Participating gamers will be able to broadcast a message on their streams that will ask their viewers to “#PauseToRemember that war is not a game.” This will drive their followers to MyPoppy.ca where viewers can support our veterans. In addition, we created a thirty-second recruitment video that depicted gamers playing through real WWII scenarios and ended with the line “On November 11th, lay down your controllers and join us for a moment of silence.”
Alternative approach: What project or brief couldn’t use more time? We would have liked to start recruiting earlier and get the message out to other countries. Thankfully, with many great partners onboard, we’ve been able to generate waves in mainstream media and in the gaming industry. We hope to connect countries from around the world in remembering our veterans on November 11th.