You don’t have to be Hindu to practice yoga, or Swedish to drive a Volvo. You also don’t need to be Jewish to attend the upcoming annual Toronto Jewish Film Festival (TJFF).
That’s the message behind a new integrated campaign from FCB Toronto and TJFF, which aims to convince people that it would be silly to miss out on a great cultural experience simply because they’re not Jewish.
The pro bono campaign includes radio, print, OOH and digital as well as three 30-second TV spots titled, “Tacos” “Yoga” and “Swedish” that are running on CHCH and on stations within the Ethnic Channels Group.
Each ad depicts people being questioned about their activities by a nosy, off-screen reporter and concludes with the message, “You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy the Toronto Jewish Film Festival. Only the films need to be Jewish to get in.”
According to Jon Flannery, chief creative officer at FCB Toronto, the effort is an attempt to both promote the festival and expand TJFF’s audience, which has traditionally leaned towards an older, primarily Jewish crowd.
“The campaign was born of the question, ‘How come you don’t go to the Toronto Jewish Film Festival?’ People give a lot of reasons, but what we found was that the default reason was ‘because I’m not Jewish,’” Flannery said.
“People don’t self-select out of cars they drive, cuisines they eat, or art they enjoy. [The campaign is] not meant to confront anyone in an overly serious way, we’re just playing with that default answer.”
FCB Toronto took over the account (formally held by DDB Canada) without a review in November. Flannery said he wasn’t sure what led to TJFF’s interest in a new agency. He also added that FCB is not the film fest’s AOR, and instead referred to it as, “a partnership thing and we’ll see where it goes.”
Previous campaigns from DDB on behalf of TJFF, such as 2013’s, “Film. It’s What Jews Do Best,” earned a CMA award along with a Cassie, and “J-Dar,” an online tool which calculates how “Jewish” Hollywood movies are, has generated more than six million media impressions.
“They’ve done some really nice work in the past and it was a lot of fun trying to top that,” Flannery said.
TJFF, now in its 23rd year, offers an assortment of global short and feature films, along with documentaries that examine Jewish culture and identity. This year’s festival runs from April 30 to May 10 in select cinemas across Toronto.
Media buying and PR were both handled in-house. The effort runs until May 10.