Girl Guides Canada looks to attract new members with ‘Just Be’

Who: Girl Guides of Canada, with Arrivals+Departures (Halifax) for strategy and creative; Accomplice Content Supply Co. for production.

What: “Just Be,” a new recruitment campaign for the national organization.

When & Where: The campaign launched this week, running across online video as a 30-second, 15-second and a series of six-second spots, complemented by radio and print.

Why: The campaign objective is to recruit 18,000 new members by driving interest among parents and educating them about what Girl Guides Canada represents today.

Jennifer Sutherland, vice-president of client services with Arrivals + Departures, said that A+D found people have an “outdated perception” of the Girl Guides, with many still associating the organization with cookies, arts and crafts, etc.

At the same time, parents still have memories of the freedom they enjoyed when they were young, exploring the outdoors with friends, discovering who they were without too much structure, schedules and screen time. “We know that caregivers want to give their daughters the best possible life, and many times feel overwhelmed by the burden of making life decisions on behalf of their child,” said Sutherland. “They also recognize that the innocence of childhood is disappearing a bit.”

How: The campaign’s positioning is built around the idea that Girl Guides is bringing back the magic of girlhood, showing that it’s where young girls can “just be,” without avatars or filters. “Girls will find themselves experiencing real life in a safe way, allowing them to build connections and skills to gain confidence,” said Sutherland.

The campaign’s 30-second anchor spot opens on a group of Girl Guides racing towards an idyllic outdoor setting, while the opening voiceover says that some people think childhood has been “lost” because of the phone alerts and schedules that leave no place for friendships, adventures, and real-life experiences.

As the spot continues, we see the young girls enjoying nature without an electronic device in sight. “As long as you know where to look, childhood can always be found,” says the closing voiceover.

And we quote: “Girl Guides offers a meeting point for real-life friendships and belonging. Girls can explore areas like arts, STEM, outdoor adventure, global awareness, mental health and what healthy relationships look like,” said Sutherland. “It empowers girls to be the lead in putting their ideas into action.”

Chris Powell