An interactive Joy Kogawa story, plus new creative for CIBC and Tim Hortons

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and Jam3 have published a new interactive Joy Kogawa story called East of the Rockies.

Inspired by Kogawa’s novels Obasan and Itsuka, the augmented reality narrative focuses on 17-year-old Yuki and her life in a Japanese internment camp during World War II. Available for later generation iPhone and iPad, the app enables users to become immersed in Yuki’s story by tapping and zooming on different elements inside the Slocan Interment Camp. The Yuki character is voiced by Kogawa’s granddaughter, Anne Canute.

East of the Rockies is the brainchild of Jam3 creative directors Jason Legge and Dirk van Ginkel, who first pitched the idea in March 2017. “Dirk and I worked on the basic story structure and identified the technology we wanted to use to bring it to life, before reaching out to Joy Kogawa,” said Legge.

“Once Joy was involved, everything started coming together really rapidly. We already had a fantastic relationship with the NFB, recently having collaborated on Bear 71, Homestay VR and Biidaaban: First Light, so when they heard that Joy Kogawa was directly involved, they were thrilled to come on as a co-producer and partner.

One of the goals of the project is to educate young people with a “learn-through-gameplay experience,” added Van Ginkel in a release. “Sometimes to move forward as a society, we must look back and acknowledge past injustices—we hope that this is a platform for reflection.”

“It’s an intergenerational story of love, loss, injustice and healing and we hope it will lead to a greater understanding of Canada’s past at a time when issues of identity and race remain at the heart of so many contemporary debates,” said NFB executive producer Rob McLaughlin.

Jam3 and NFB also put out a making-of video late last year.

Percy’s back in Aventura campaign

CIBC has released new advertising for its traveller-focused Aventura credit card. The creative uses CIBC’s mascot, Percy the Penguin, to promote the premium card’s three new benefits: complimentary airport lounge visits, Nexus application fee rebates and mobile device insurance.

The campaign from Juniper Park\TBWA features a 30-second spot showing Percy and his family enjoying Aventura perks like avoiding long airport line-ups, and enjoying lounge food and drink.

“Knowing that Aventura cardholders see themselves as travellers who want to make the most of their travel journey, the three new features were specifically designed to reinforce this strong positioning and its unique offering in the travel card category,” said Juniper Park\TBWA in a release.

The media campaign from Mediacom Canada includes TV, online video, newspaper, out-of-home, digital and social, as well as in-branch messaging.

Another True Story from Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons latest True Stories ad was released earlier this week. The True Stories platform recreates stories from customers about special moments connected to the QSR chain. “These new Tims’ True Stories will sometimes make you cry or they’ll make you laugh, but most of all, they bring Canadian values to life,” said Paloma Azulay, global creative head, when Tim Hortons launched the campaign late last year.

The newest spot is about a Tim Hortons employee learning sign language in order to better serve a regular customer who is deaf. The True Stories ads are developed by independent agency GUT, formed by the two former co-founders of David, based in Miami and Buenos Aires. David has received credit for a lot of award-winning work for Burger King in recent years, including two Cannes Grand Prix. Burger King is, of course, a sister business to Tim Hortons within Restaurant Brands International.

Canadian actor Eric McCormack stars in cancer PSA

Stand Up to Cancer and the Canadian Cancer Society have partnered on a new public awareness campaign starring Will & Grace star Eric McCormack. The bilingual campaign, debuting this month, includes print, TV, radio, out-of-home and digital.

According to a release, 206,000 Canadians were diagnosed with cancer in 2018, and half of the population will be diagnosed in their lifetime. A 60-second PSA, “Life in the Face of Cancer,” features McCormack as he underscores the importance of cancer research.

“This cause is incredibly close to my heart, and I’m proud to be involved in this effort to raise awareness about cancer treatment options,” said the Emmy Award-winning actor, who lost both his parents and father-in-law to cancer. “I’m hopeful that progress in cancer research and clinical trials that are available will allow more Canadians to thrive in the face of cancer.”

The ad also features the images and voices of other cancer survivors, and drives to a dedicated website where cancer patients can learn more about treatments and clinical trials, both at home and abroad. The French-language radio campaign is narrated by Montreal radio personality Nadège St-Phillipe, who was diagnosed with stage three colorectal cancer at age 36.

Stand Up To Cancer Canada is a charity organization launched by the U.S.-based Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) in 2014. Established in 1942, the EIF harnesses the power of the entertainment industry to raise awareness and funds for more than 300 charitable organizations.


David Brown