Desjardins’ poetic ode to small businesses

Who: Desjardins, with Bleublancrouge for strategy and creative; Steam Films for production (James Michael Chiang directing); Saints Editorial for editing; Darling VFX for visual effects; Vapor Media for audio; Glassroom for media.

What: “We’ve Got Big Love for Small Biz,” a new campaign promoting this year’s recipients of the annual Desjardins GoodSpark Grant.

When & Where: The campaign is in market now, running through May 14 across TV, cinema, out-of-home, online, digital, social and radio.

Why: Desjardins has made small business one of the cornerstones of its business since its inception. It launched the GoodSpark Grant program three years ago as a way to help businesses that were negatively impacted by the pandemic. The program has evolved since then, with Desjardins awarding $3 million in grants to 150 businesses in each of the past two years.

How:  To promote the GoodSpark program and this year’s businesses, Bleublancrouge enlisted award-winning author and poet Desi Di Nardo to sit with businesses’ most loyal customers and pose questions to them, such as what makes the business special to them, and to imagine what words pop into their head when walking into the business.

Di Nardo then crafted a poem using their responses, which was presented to the business owners along with the $20,000 grant from Desjardins. The video showing the interaction between the businesses’ customers and Di Nardo was fashioned into a two-and-a-half minute video running on Desjardins’ social channels, accompanied by TV cutdowns.

“Desi’s poetry is refreshingly hopeful and optimistic,”said Johanne Brousseau, sponsorships, donations and brand director with Desjardins. “We were drawn to that, as it aligns with our outlook and values.  Desi was able to capture what these small businesses mean to the communities they are a part of, and put words to the love their loyal customers have for them in a beautiful and unique way.”

“Loyal regulars are the lifeblood of small business. So we felt it fitting to create a storyline from the perspective of these true advocates by tapping into the connection they have with their favourite local companies,” said Bleublancrouge’s executive creative director, Chris Dacyshyn. “We just helped them find the words.”

And we quote: “At Desjardins, we recognize that small businesses are essential to the vitality of our economy, and we’ve been celebrating their contributions for a long time. The Desjardins GoodSpark Grants are another way we can support them. We want to encourage entrepreneurs who innovate, promote sustainable development, and invest in their employees.” – Guy Cormier, president and CEO, Desjardins Group

Chris Powell