Saskatchewan in motion (SIM) is a province-wide movement aimed at increasing physical activity – in children aged 4-16 – for health, social, economic and environmental benefits.

The Challenge

SIM chose Arcas Advertising in early 2009 as their agency of record to help deliver ongoing social marketing strategies, campaigns and tactics that would help educate and motivate parents to get their children more physically active. The Arcas agency team developed a new website, as well as targeted media planning, creative advertising executions, social media design/content and online-hosted videos that communicated key messages on the need and importance to get children active.

The Thinking

Our team began by breaking down the facts and challenges SIM faced in communicating to parents – not only the benefits of keeping children physically active, but also the long-term negative consequences of decreased activity; primarily due to access and time children now spend with ‘digital screen devices’ – video games, TV, computers, tablets and mobile phones. The time children spend today on ‘screens has dramatically increased over the past ten years and has led to even further increased inactivity amongst that demographic.

Arcas developed a strategy to help combat this epidemic by focusing and targeting all of SIM’s messaging solely at the mothers of children – versus both mother and father in the typical parental composition. Arcas research and insights showed that women’s maternal instincts and more caring, empathetic personalities would be a better fit to target with SIM’s messages versus fathers. As well, SIM’s increasingly active role in the social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, were mediums more preferred and more frequently engaged in by moms/females than males – and needed to be considered as key communication tactics due to limited budget and resources.

Arcas developed advertising concepts for both paid media (TV, radio, outdoor, online, video) and social media – where videos and engaging ‘postcard meme’ content could be utilized to help deliver messaging and drive new ‘likes’ and ‘followers’ – and ideally increasing visitor time spent on the SIM website.

Arcas views a brand’s social media followers/likes as ‘real time databases’ that need to be acquired, retained, nurtured and communicated to with strategic intent. This philosophy helped formulate a strategy to focus the campaign’s measurable objectives on social media – thus allowing any paid media tactics to act as support. A new SIM website was also created by our team to house a wealth of SIM content and information made accessible for the target audience from social media and online click throughs.

The Result

The social media strategy has been deemed a great success for SIM’s objectives. With paid advertising acting as supporting messages that reinforced online and social efforts, awareness on Facebook and Twitter increased; showing 35% and 25% increases in followers respectively and website traffic increasing well over 250% since the campaign began. As well, analytics showed an increase in website visit duration time from 2 minutes to over 4 minutes.

Out of the social media creative delivered by Arcas was a meme that proclaimed ‘Be a Sit Disturber – Turn It Off and Send Them Outside’. This piece of creative attained the most likes, shares and retweets of all SIM social media content created. In fact, the SIM client team has now created a line of t-shirts bearing the messaging to sell and distribute on their website and at SIM events.