Want to hook your content wagon to Canada 150, our nation's big birthday bash? Try our patented Member of Parliament test to find out if you should!

Should Your Brand Tap Into Canada 150?

Try our patented Member of Parliament test to find out if you should!


by Dave Robson

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So, you’ve read our piece on Canada 150 Content Marketing Dos and Don’ts. But here’s a more fundamental question: should your brand do anything for Canada 150?

After all, this is a big event with lots of marketing potential, a hashtag that’s sticking around for a full year, and a very receptive audience. That said, latching onto Canada 150 can backfire for a brand. So, here are some questions you should ask yourself before you break out the maple leaves.

How does your content celebrate Canada?

Canada 150 is a celebration, so any content you create should reflect that. We have no doubt that brands are going to create content indistinguishable from their regularly scheduled content and slap a Canada 150 hashtag on it. And we have no doubt that it’ll fall flat.

Is your brand Canadian?

If your brand is Canadian, that’s a point in favour of involving yourself in Canada 150. If not, no big deal—you just need to work a little harder. A Canadian brand can draw on its history or Canadian-ness to create Canada 150 content; a non-Canadian brand needs to look elsewhere.

Is your brand a non-profit?

Your brand doesn’t need to be a non-profit to create Canada 150 content, but understand that audience expectations are a bit different. Consider ParticipACTION’s Canada 150 Playlist. The “playlist” is a list of physical activities, and if you do them you can track your progress on their leaderboards and win prizes. It makes sense because ParticipACTION is a Canadian non-for-profit with the aim of getting Canadians active. Their Canada 150 wouldn’t make as much sense—or even be considered suspicious—coming from a for-profit company.

Does your campaign make Canada 150 better?

RBC is offering young Canadians around the country $150, no strings attached, and asking them to do something with it that will make their community better. They call it #Make150Count, and they get a bunch of feel-good social media out of it. Social awareness is a pretty easy way to celebrate Canada, is what we’re saying.

Can you imagine an MP sharing a link to your content?

Take a look at a sitting MP’s twitter feed sometime, and you’ll see content that’s socially aware, celebrates their piece of Canada, and evokes a sort of bland but sincerely felt nationalism. That’s the ballpark you want your Canada 150 content to approach. If you can’t imagine your MP sharing the Canada 150 content you create, pin down the reason (not celebratory enough? too crassly commercial?) and fix the problem. Remember, content marketing that isn’t sharable isn’t valuable, and if you can’t imagine an MP sharing something with the Canada 150 hashtag attached, you probably have a problem.