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 head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.