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Strategic Objectives Named IABC/Toronto PR Agency of the Year 2021, WINS Best of the Best, plus 7 Top OVATION Awards

In a year filled with all things virtual, our Strategic Objectives Team proves that whether we’re working collaboratively in our agency office, or together remotely, we are committed to teamwork, excellence, and achieving outstanding results for our clients.

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We have good news to share! Strategic Objectives was named Mid-Size Agency of the Year 2021, for the ninth time in the last 12 years; won Best of the Best Campaign of the Year; plus 7 top IABC/Toronto #OVATION21 Awards at the IABC (International Association of Business Communicators)/Toronto OVATION Awards Gala, on Wednesday, May 26. These honours pay tribute to our ability to excel within our new working reality, and to develop creative solutions that connect with target audiences through memorable, impactful marketing communications.

Strategic Objectives’ nine wins are in diverse categories including Social Media; Marketing, Advertising, and Brand Communication; Special and Experiential Events; and Corporate Social Responsibility.

These honours are all thanks to our amazing SO Team — the talented individuals who bring Smart Ideas and Better Solutions to life every day, even in the face of lockdowns, stay-at-home orders and physically distanced mandates. This year more than ever, we have pushed boundaries with fresh ideas and dynamic approaches, boldly breaking through the clutter and making news within our evolving communications landscape.

We are also very grateful to our brave clients who trust us to build and protect their brands; and to the volunteer IABC judges, all leading-edge communications professionals who generously gave their time to evaluate our work against IABC global standards for the communications profession.

SO Exciting! 9 Top Awards Including:

Best of The Best Judges’ Choice Award: Maple Leaf Foods Sustainability Program

An awesome achievement! This campaign earned the highest marks and judges' evaluation of the entire annual competition.

Awards of Excellence:

Maple Leaf Foods Sustainability Program, Award of Excellence,
Corporate Social Responsibility

Maple Leaf Foods is on a journey to becoming the most sustainable protein company on earth. In Fall 2020, Strategic Objectives was engaged to help increase awareness of Maple Leaf Foods’ environmental and sustainability initiatives, highlighting its achievement of becoming the world’s first major carbon neutral food company. The campaign surpassed all objectives, forged connections with consumers, and prompted other Canadian businesses to make a difference.

Judge’s Comment: “Well demonstrated excellence in CSR communications.”

Kruger Products LP, Rolling it Forward, Award of Excellence,
Corporate Social Responsibility

Last April, Kruger Products – maker of Canada’s best-selling paper products including Cashmere and Purex bathroom tissue, Scotties facial tissue, and SpongeTowels paper towels – made an immediate and radical pandemic pivot to create #RollingItForward, a three-phase, multi-faceted CSR program that donated paper products and funds to frontline workers and Food Banks Canada and enlisted NHL® hockey players to encourage giving back to the community in this time of need. The program exceeded target impressions and contributions, and despite focusing on sharing, rather than shopping, Kruger outperformed sales-wise in the category, proving that giving back offers many rewards.

Judge’s Comment: “Really well done and terrific reminder of the good that organizations can do for their communities.”

Lise Watier Holiday Campaign, Award of Excellence, Social Media

Holiday 2020 was anticipated to be, and proved to be, an extremely disappointing sales season for many beauty brands due to the pandemic. But not for Lise Watier! SO developed an amped-up, innovative social media and Influencer program for Lise Watier that resulted in unprecedented and outstanding sales-driving success for Lise Watier Holiday Gifts of Beauty and its Holiday make-up collection. Our secret sauce was to deploy the #LWSociety – an exclusive and highly diverse group of authentic beauty, fashion and lifestyle Influencers – to embrace sparkle and spread positivity online, giving women permission to treat themselves and those they love with pampering products that let their beauty shine, if only on Zoom. This campaign brightened difficult times and yielded phenomenal sales and growth during a challenging time for the beauty industry.

Judge’s Comment: “I appreciate the diversity of ambassadors. The entry capitalized on the unique circumstances of the target audience and met them where they were emotionally.”

Thermacell #TurnItOnMosquitoesGone, Award of Excellence,
Marketing, Advertising and Brand Communication

Canadians love to get outdoors, but we hate mosquitoes. Thermacell offers a solution with its innovative technology and fifteen-foot zone of mosquito protection. Having had limited brand success in Canada over the past 15 years, Thermacell engaged Strategic Objectives to create a buzz-worthy, strategic brand repositioning campaign to highlight the uniqueness of the product, position it as a must-have for outdoor fun, influence opinion, and boost sales. The multi-faceted program resulted in exceptional coverage and unprecedented sales increases.

Judge’s Comment: “A great deal of creative and hard work went into making this campaign a success. The campaign also promoted an agility to pivot with COVID and create even more interest in the product during the stay-at-home pandemic lockdown.”

Awards of Merit:

Kruger Products LP 2020 Cashmere Collection, Award of Merit,
Special and Experiential Events

Celebrating its 17th year, the Cashmere Collection features original, made-in-Canada runway couture, entirely crafted in Cashmere bathroom tissue; spotlights Canadian fashion designers; and raises funds and awareness for the Breast Cancer cause. The pandemic forced the cancellation of our annual September runway show, but Kruger Products challenged us to reimagine the collection for a physically distanced world. We turned on a dime to create our first-ever virtual runway show, broadcasting it directly to Canadians via a watch party on CTV’s The Social’s Facebook Page. Our first-ever virtual show gave every Canadian a front-row seat, and attracted audience impressions unlike ever before.

Judge’s Comment: “This is an innovative campaign to start with. Nicely pivoted to a virtual world.”

Kia Canada Ambassador Program, Award of Merit, Social Media

Social media has become the new storefront in today’s digitally driven world. In 2020, SO partnered with Kia Canada to create unforgettable Kia encounters with Canada’s leading social Influencers and by extension, their communities. We commissioned a steady stream of high-quality, visually pleasing Instagram, Twitter and Blog content from a diverse range of paid Ambassadors to profile Kia’s versatile line-up and help Canadians identify the perfect Kia model for their lifestyle.

Judge’s Comment: “This is an excellent example of an influencer program that was creatively driven. This could prove to be a tough category, but you managed to leverage the brand pillars while collaborating effectively to come up with visually impressive content - a must, particularly for Instagram.”

Lise Watier Portfolio Professional Correctors Relaunch, Award of Merit, Social Media

Recognizing the power of social media Influencers in sharing information and generating trial of outstanding cosmetic and make-up products, Strategic Objectives developed a Lise Watier beauty ambassador program called #LWSociety to raise awareness, stimulate brand love and drive sales for Lise Watier’s reformulated Portfolio Professional Correctors (PPC) which has become Canada’s #1 concealer. Our campaign showcased that the product was now 100% vegan and offered a new and extended shade range to complement diverse consumer skin tones. The Corrector experienced a substantial sales boost, directly attributable to this campaign.

Judge’s Comment: “Sensitively reached a diverse audience and considered vegans to people of colour. Sensitive time with BLM so the right emotional connection was especially key.”

Our Strategic Objectives Team is SO proud of our client collaborations that create relevant, leading-edge, award-winning campaigns that change minds, build brands and achieve tremendous results.

Does your brand need help cutting through the clutter? Would fresh thinking and modern, award-winning storytelling benefit your brand? Please contact us. Who knows… we might even win an award or two together! Let’s give it a try.

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