Telefilm turns the camera on Canadians

Its new social campaign lets us be voyeurs and see how others enjoy our country's cinema.
Copied from strategy - Telefilm

Telefilm Canada has tapped into the power of showing and not telling, with a new social campaign aimed at boosting Canadians’ appreciation for homegrown films.

“Watch Us, Watch Us,” created by Toronto creative agency The Hive, includes seven short online videos that feature a variety of Canadians – from a hockey team to a family of Syrian refugees to Olympians – watching and reacting to Canadian films, including Breakaway, Turbo Kid, How to Plan an Orgy in a Small Town, and La grande séduction.

The campaign was built around the insight that Canadians often don’t think we’ll enjoy watching our own films, says Francesca Accinelli, director, national promotions and communications at Telefilm Canada.

“Watch Us, Watch Us” was created to support a collection of 150 Canadian films on iTunes, in honour, of course, of Canada’s 150th birthday. That partnership was part of larger set of discoverability initiatives launched by Telefilm in January.

In March 2016, Telefilm launched an initiative called “Canada First,“ a social media platform that aims to connect Canadians to the talent in our film industry, past and present.

However, Accinelli says Telefilm did struggle with finding the right kind of content that engages Canadians, prompting it to turn to the trend of viewers watching others watch things – think e-sports’ growing popularity or even those YouTube compilations of people watching the “Red Wedding” scene from Game of Thrones.

The campaign has received support on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, with Telefilm largely targetting an 18-to-35 demographic but also seeing engagement from viewers outside that group, particularly on Facebook, which skews older, Accinelli says.

The first four English-language videos have so far received more than 2.5 million views, with the latest French video on track to have similar results, according to The Hive.

Given the relative low cost of producing the videos and their successful level of engagement, Telefilm is likely to produce more similar content, Accinelli says.

Telefilm found itself at the heart of another kind of campaign recently. More than 50 Canadian filmmakers and producers signed a letter in April urging the government to keep a rumoured merger of the CMF and Telefilm off the discussion table. The letter called Telefilm the Canadian film industry’s “single most important ally.”

For all the videos, click here.

From strategy