Sunday 6 September 2015


How to say cheese in your very own TIFF selfie

The family that shops together selfies together for TIFF

The 40th annual Toronto International Film Festival starts in 4-days, but, for the social marketing wing of the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)  their sponsored  Film Festival guerilla marketing campaign has long been underway.  
At the always popular Saturday morning market at the downtown Toronto St Lawrence Market, the bank's marketing team was on the job early. A team of young workers quickly set up a step-and-repeat wall covered in TIFF and RBC logos. The wall was framed with dark blue movie theatre curtains, two movie theatre style sign boards and a deep blue carpet. Shoppers were encouraged to walk the carpet and get their pictures taken against the logo wall.
"Shouldn't the carpet be red?" asks one woman as she stood in front of the wall waiting to get her 15-seconds of fame.
" No, our bank's colour is Blue. Blue is the new Red (Scotiabank's colour is red)," explained of the RBC TIFF  street team. 
No matter the carpet colour, shoppers streaming by the installation took their turns in front of the logos. Perky marketing people take "selfie" pictures using the smart phones, tablets and cameras of the shoppers.  Pictures taken they are given a chance to get a gift of either a $5-off movie ticket, or a small sample bag of flavoured Kernel popcorn.
The team has taken thousands of selfies this week in the downtown core. They say they are trying to get the "buzz on" for the popular 9-day September movie festival. People who get their pictures taken are encouraged to post those pictures to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  Even though the back wall is devoid of movie images and is simply a corporate tarted up ad, no one seems to mind.
The campaign is cheap, cheerful and mildly fun.  But will it work? Unless someone like Tom Cruise stops by for a selfie, it is unlikely that any of the pictures the team takes will get posted and go viral.  And, it can work against them - check out my TIFF monkey shot.  I am wearing my own guerilla marketing logo campaign for Scotiabank and the Toronto Caribbean Carnival. And, as you can see, my version is going viral!

Stephen Weir stealthily promotes Scotiabank for the RBC cameraperson