Creating a Campaign With Legs

24 Harmony on the Roof

Great milestones shouldn’t be allowed to tiptoe by. I worked with Rita Sasges and her team at Sasges Inc., the dynamic Calgary design and branding studio, to create a campaign with legs for 40th anniversary of the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre (CTCC).

The marketing effort leveraged Sasges Inc.’s 2012 Be Part of the Energy rebrand for Calgary as the robust platform to celebrate CTCC’s  four decades as the city’s premier meeting and conference destination. It attracts some 250,000 visitors a year, helping to keep the downtown vital.

For the campaign I contributed writing to the website, press releases, partner communications, blog posts, teaser ads, hang tags and more, complementing a 2013 annual report that celebrated the CTCC’s valued partnerships.


Central to the anniversary celebration was the 40 Year Stroll, driving awareness of the CTCC and its contributions to the city’s economic, cultural and intellectual life to key audiences, including its strategic partners, downtown businesses, Calgarians and tourists, and the internal CTCC team.

Launched last summer, the campaign included guerrilla marketing events, street art, music, food trucks, social media buzz and news coverage. Swag and media messaging, using variations of Sasges’ 40 Years of Energy anniversary identity, thanked Calgarians for their support and looked forward to a promising future together.

The design team developed an annotated map and website, enabling mappeople to take a real walk through 40 years of wonderful and quirky history. People were encouraged to take the stroll with a Twitter-driven contest that converted selfies into a chance to win a great prize – 40 Hours of Fun, Food & Culture in downtown Calgary.

Other tactics to draw attention to CTCC’s milestone included various C-Train platform takeovers, giving away swell stuff, such as branded water bottles and lunch bags. Food-truck treats and ice cream with messaging satisfied people’s hunger and curiosity.

Sasges and CTCC partnered with Alberta College of Art + Design illustrators to create themed street art along 1183_TEL 40th Anniversary Tags-2Stephen Avenue, which later served as stages for street music performances. The campaign buzz was fuelled by press releases, snagging media coverage through advertising booked on the online Herald, social media and word of mouth.

Things really gained momentum as the CTCC team (clothed of course in branded tshirtanniversary T-shirts with buttons) and the Convention Centre’s partners, such as the Downtown Association, caught the fever and worked tirelessly to promote anniversary events.

Throughout the campaign, CTCC stressed the fact that it intends to be Calgary’s best host 40 years down the road, expanding and adapting to fulfill its mandate. Outside the Convention Centre an Age Booth was set up, where visitors could have their pictures taken to see what they would look like four decades from now.

Let me tell you, in 2054, Calgary, the Convention Centre and its citizens look really good.

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