Service Advertising Is A Content Opportunity

Public service advertising has been around for a long time. But there’s a new kind of public service advertising today, which should not be confused with the pro-bono work agencies do for charities. No, this new service work is done by brands to directly benefit a community. It might be Tide helping people do laundry after a hurricane or tornado. In this case it’s a candy maker, helping to fund a hockey rink.

Last year, New Brunswick island Grand Manan got what every small Canadian town dreams of – its own ice hockey rink. And this winter the makers of MARS partnered with Hockey Canada to lend a helping hand by adding in a heated mezzanine.

BBDO Toronto Associate Creative Directors Jaimes Zentil and Craig McIntosh developed the concept and script, and were drawn to Grand Manan by the island’s unique culture and close-knit community. To bring the story to life, Emmy award-winning director Doug Pray and Holiday Films were brought on board to shoot a 30-second commercial and five-minute web film.

“I was attracted to the script because it was real,” comments Pray, who won international acclaim for his 2009 documentary Art & Copy. “Mars Canada Inc. really did make an important donation to the community and the community really did appreciate it.”

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.