Communicating with Canadians during times of Crisis - Finance Canada’s award winning Campaign

By: Kayla Castro

During COVID‑19, a time of financial uncertainty and stress for many Canadians, the Government of Canada’s COVID‑19 Economic Response Plan rolled out an extensive advertising and outreach plan managed by Finance Canada to communicate benefits and supports as quickly as possible.

Julie Lavallée, Director of Public Affairs and Operations, Finance Canada, led the development of the campaign, which featured 3D animation to provide critical information, in plain language, with visuals that could be relatable and easily recognizable. This approach allowed for a consistent and clear  message on financial measures.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit - Support for you

Need to adapt quickly and in real-time

As the pandemic continued, financial measures for specific sub-groups began rolling out and this called for new content creation that would reflect specific target audiences. Presented with this additional challenge, Julie had to quickly work to adapt messages and visuals that would resonate with several different audiences, and tailored specifically to their situations.

Julie’s ability to use storytelling to captivate an audience wasn’t unnoticed, as she was nominated for the Government of Canada Communications Awards of Excellence - Master Storyteller of the Year Award.

Headshot of Julie Lavallée
Julie Lavallée

“The greatest reward is knowing that we have made a difference in the lives of Canadians. There were over 8.8 million Canadians who saw the ad campaign and took action by registering for financial support programs during the pandemic” said Julie.

The campaign, so far, has generated 12M visits to the Response Plan web page, and the Facebook ads generated a click‑through rate (CTR) and an engagement rate up to 6%. The search engine marketing portion of the campaign has an average CTR of 21% and for programmatic of 0.33%.

Award-winning campaign

The Finance Canada campaign also scooped up several other awards including: The Communicator Awards - a leading international awards program recognizing excellence, effectiveness and innovation in communication across a spectrum of industries. 

This campaign received awards in the following categories:

The Silver 2021 Telly Awards in the following categories:

The latest video ad for this campaign can be seen at:

Are you looking for innovative ways to communicate with an audience or target audience? Find some great tools and resources below on how to use storytelling as a strategy to connect with Canadians:

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