Royal Canadian Mint and McCann try a new approach to reach younger Canadians

Who: The Royal Canadian Mint, with McCann Montreal for strategy and creative; IAmStatic for production (directors Julia Deakin for “Alexander Graham Bell,” and Matthew Kalinauskas for “Celebrating Summit ’72”), Grayson Music, and Media Experts for media.

What: Two recent campaigns for commemorative circulation coins celebrating iconic Canadiana: The winning Canadian team from the 1972 Summit Series, and Alexander Graham Bell.

When & Where: The 15-second spot for the ’72 Series campaign has been running nationally on TV since early October until Oct. 23. The 30-second Bell campaign just launched, running until Nov. 20.

Why: The Mint has been creating coins celebrating Canadian heritage moments and figures to connect with a new generation of Canadians.

“One of the key goals of the commemorative circulation campaigns is to change the way people learn about our shared history and, ultimately, to help them understand the modern-day impact of our past,” said Tom Froggatt, the Mint’s chief commercial officer, in a release.

To help reach that new generation, McCann has introduced a “design shift” for the advertising promoting the coins, moving away from factual realism to a more contemporary storytelling approach intended to resonate with younger Canadians.

How: The new approach began with an Oscar Peterson coin in August, and continued with the Summit Series coin, fusing real-world footage with animation (see both ads below). The newest spot for Alexander Graham Bell takes a similar approach, with a mix of live footage blended with animated illustrations and motion-design.

The most recent spot, which marks Graham Bell’s 175th birthday, is described as an “illustrative journey” through his inventions. It begins with his most famous, the telephone, but also includes the Silver Dart aircraft, and the HD-4 hydrofoil.

“McCann’s outside of the box creative approach is helping us… by telling important stories, like Bell’s, in a modern, inclusive, and engaging way,” said Froggat.

“By ensuring that we always play with real-world and animation, we’re reflecting the Mint’s role to bring the timeless heritage moments to life in timely, modern and eye-catching ways,” said McCann’s executive creative director Dave Roberts in a release introducing the Summit Series coin and campaign.

And we quote: “The more we manifest those moments of history in a relevant way, the more people will appreciate the past, and in turn, perhaps develop an interest in setting aside the special circulating coins they find in their change.”— Tom Froggatt, chief commercial officer, Royal Canadian Mint

David Brown