Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada celebrate bright futures

Non-profit launches first awareness campaign in five years

Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada (BGCC) has launched “Great Futures Start Here,” the first awareness campaign for the non-profit in five years.

Intended to illustrate how BGCC sets the stage for youngsters to achieve their full potential, the campaign centers on three 30-second PSA’s detailing the backgrounds of famous former club members; Taylor Hall, number one NHL draft pick, Anthony Bennett, number one NBA draft pick, and award-winning child psychiatrist Dr. Jean Clinton.

Developed in partnership with Dare Toronto, the PSA’s depict Hall, Bennett and Clinton as children honing their future craft; conducting psychotherapy on a toy, shooting crumped pieces of paper into a wastebasket, and practicing their puck skills. Around them, kids and teens engage in sports, drawing and socializing. The PSA’s were shot and produced by Toronto-based shop Sons and Daughters.

According to Mathieu Chantelois, national director of marketing and communications at BGCC, the goal of the campaign is to simply make Canadians aware of what the organization does.

“We’re over 110 years old so a lot of people know our name, they know that we do good work, we have a great reputation, but that’s about it. They don’t know anything else…. For us, that was a bit of a challenge,” he said. “We have great brand recognition, but people have no idea what’s happening inside our clubs.”

“Great Futures Start Here” was done completely pro bono, and the videos were produced on a shoestring budget. According to Chantelois, the small financial investment made it possible for the organization to launch its first campaign in five years.

“You need to be sure you are putting the right message out there if you spend money on PSA’s because most of our money goes to youth, children and their programs,” Chantelois said.

The PSA’s are available for viewing on YouTube and will begin airing on television next week. Print ads are also running in several Rogers-owned publications, as well as West Jet’s Up Magazine. The campaign is running nationally, with the exception of Quebec, where the BGCC operates under a different name, and is in the process of a re-brand.

Chantelois said he interviewed several agencies before settling on Dare Toronto, mainly because it was the only shop that didn’t suggest he put his accomplished alumni in front of the camera, a move he said would have been awkward, inauthentic, and “had been done so many times.”

“Great Futures Start Here” runs until the end of February.

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