The work of Canada’s medical lab professionals is very much under the microscope as the COVID-19 crisis continues to rage, but for many Canadians, it’s also very much under the radar.
The Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science is hoping to create broader public awareness of the crucial work its members are doing to protect the health of Canadians with a new campaign from Toronto agency Arrivals + Departures built around a one-of-a-kind lab coat.
“We know from recent research initiatives that Canadians don’t have a strong sense of who we are, what we do, and what role we play in the larger health care system,” said CSMLS chief executive Christine Nielsen.
“Canadians see medical laboratory work as a function behind the health care system, not an essential group of people that keeps it ticking. This public campaign aims to change that by raising the profile of our members’ professional contributions in Canada.”
Working with Toronto tailor Philip Sparks and fabric printer Stefan Conrad at The Sign & Graphics Manufaktur, Arrivals + Departures created a bespoke lab coat featuring the names of the approximately 1.2 million lab tests carried out each day in labs across the country. These tests help Canada’s health system diagnose and treat everything from cancer and diabetes to COVID-19.
All of the test names are imprinted on the coat in microscopic indigo type. According to Arrivals + Departures, indigo was selected because it represents confidence, intelligence, truth, trust ambition and devotion—all characteristics embodied by Canada’s lab professionals.
The campaign features out-of-home marketing in targeted regions including Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto and Halifax, combined with social media outreach, all driving to a dedicated microsite called IndigoLabCoat.ca.
More than 20 of the coats are being sent to top officials, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Teresa Tam and Minister of Health Patty Hajdu.
“The impact medical laboratory workers have on Canadian’s lives is nothing short of extraordinary. We knew we needed an idea that made their work stand out and visible to all,” said Jeff MacEachern, chief creative officer at Arrivals + Departures. “The idea was born out of a desire for Canadians to get a closer look at what actually happens behind the scenes and how crucial medical laboratory workers’ roles are to our health care system.”