Jessi Cruickshank, Jessica Mulroney, and David Rocco

2018 has come and gone — that was quick! — and we know planning for 2019 campaigns is well under way. We put together this list of tips and trends to help you make the most out of your 2019 projects and talent partnerships.

Getting the Results You Want With the Budget You Have

1. Use Time to Your Advantage

Collaboration and creativity are key in producing the best campaigns, especially when working with a spokesperson or celebrity.

We start all of our new partnerships with a free consultation where we dig deep into the needs and goals of our clients. This allows us to play matchmaker — we know our talent, how they work, their schedules, their strengths, their audiences, etc., and we work with you to find the best representative(s) for your brand, timeline, and budget. Having time for this key conversation can help ensure your campaign makes the biggest impact!

And, if we have enough time in the planning stages, we often look for bonus promotional opportunities for our clients. Since we know our talents’ schedules, we can sometimes offer co-branding opportunities, such as tie-ins with their new books or other exciting projects/partnerships to bring your client even more exposure.

PRO TIP: Planning in advance can mean less disappointment later! Calendars fill up quickly, especially for our high-profile talent. We often have to say no to opportunities that we would otherwise say yes to because of full schedules, so getting your asks in early can help you get first pick.

2. Establish and Share Your Budget and Long-Term Goals

It’s a numbers game and the more we know, the more we can do! Whether you have a small, medium, or large budget, share your wildest dreams with us along with the numbers and we’ll do our best to achieve your desired results through creative solutions and recommendations.

For instance, media buys can be quite expensive and can quickly eat up conservative budgets, while a media event can offer maximum exposure without blowing your budget. We once collaborated with Uncle Ben’s on their “Ben’s Beginners” initiative. They were looking for media exposure. Instead of spending all of their budget on one media buy, we booked multiple celebrities to attend a special media event, along with their adorable families, to cook with some of Uncle Ben’s products. With so much talent in one room, it created a really fun environment that attracted media, and resulted in traditional media coverage, plus several social posts that helped maximize the campaign’s impact.

PRO TIP: When planning a campaign, be open to working with us on suggestions as to how to best combine your budget with our talent to get the best results.

3. Plug and Play Campaigns are Out, Authenticity is In.

People are looking for authentic content across all media channels — social media, television, radio, etc. Partnering with celebrity talent can bring that authentic tone to your campaigns. People know them, and their audiences like and trust them.

Plus, our talent likes to truly partner on projects, often helping clients to shape and inform plans. This form of creative collaboration results in original content that both showcases a partnership while also matching the tone and personality of the talent, which is what attracts their audience in the first place.

For example, collaborative partnership is what launched Metro’s popular “5 at 5” series with Jessica Mulroney. In these short digital videos, Jessica shares family-friendly recipes that only use 5 ingredients and take only 5 minutes to put together. Often featuring her cute kids, her videos are helpful and fun to watch!

Jessica saw a need for busy parents wondering what to cook for their families every night, and actually developed this partnership with Metro to both showcase their products, and provide additional value for their customers.

The series’ success even led to a segment on Cityline where the “5 at 5” videos were promoted.

PRO TIP: Don’t try to fit your talent into defined plans, leave some wiggle room for creative collaboration and you will see positive results.

Trends to Stay on Top of in 2019

1. Go Digital

Digital is still going strong in 2019, and it’s the perfect medium for showcasing original content. We’re lucky to work with a roster of creative talent, many of whom are capable of producing their own digital content.

Check out this brilliant Instagram video, written and produced by television personality Jessi Cruickshank for Kraft Dinner.

2. Think Creatively

It’s a whole new media landscape out there, and often those who think “outside the box” are going to see the most return.

For example, Best Buy partnered with David Rocco for an amazing culinary event! As a well-known celebrity chef and television personality, David hosted an exclusive dinner party for key media and influencers that featured Best Buy appliances. This unique experience resulted in traditional media coverage and fun, effective social posts.

3. Capitalize on Existing Holidays, Awareness Months, and Annual Events

We know key holidays and dates are already in your content calendar! Here are a few that we always keep in mind throughout the year:

  • January: It’s about celebrating the new year and hitting hard at those resolutions, with key themes being fitness, healthy eating, goal setting, and self care, as well as vacations to ditch the winter blues for sunny adventures.
  • February: The month of love brings both Valentine’s Day and Family Day.
  • March: Families will be looking for fun-filled activities and getaways for March Break.
  • Spring: It’s time to celebrate mothers and fathers, plus the end of winter. Help people get summer ready by sharing advice on home décor, food, travel destinations, gardening, and more!
  • Summer: Summer is the time for adventure, BBQs, drinks with friends, and planning ahead for back to school.
  • October: Food, family, friends, and giving thanks!
  • December: It’s the holiday season, and with it comes parties, hosting, gift-giving, family meals, holiday décor, and festive cheer.

And, we can’t forget awareness months and special social media days! These are a fantastic opportunity to generate online conversation about topics that are sometimes hidden from the limelight.

One of our favourite campaigns featured the world-renowned soprano singer Measha Brueggergosman, who worked with Becel on their Women’s Heart Health campaign during Heart Month in February. In 2009, Measha needed emergency heart surgery to save her life. She used her personal experience to promote Becel’s #HeartHealth campaign, creating a really authentic and moving partnership. It resulted in a lot of media coverage, including CTV News, Ottawa Citizen, CityNews, Chatelaine, and more.

Looking for more ideas? Don’t hesitate to reach out, we always love to chat creative campaigns! Email us at [email protected].