Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

Celebrating some great client work

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

Could there be anything better than working with clients who are fighting for a fairer society and a better deal for working people?

It’s hard to think of how. Creating compelling, effective creative pieces together is profoundly satisfying. And having that work recognized with a Summit Creative Award? Icing on the cake.

Make that half a dozen servings of cake, fully iced. This year’s Summit Creative Awards (celebrating outstanding communications from small and mid-sized marketing firms) saluted the work of six NOW clients. We’re proud to work with them, and proud of the products of our collaboration: (more…)

Four of our clients’ projects are Reed Award finalists!

Monday, January 12th, 2015

There aren’t many stories more compelling than dedicated public-sector workers under attack from governments bent on cutting services and staff. We’ve been helping unions tell—and change—that story in provinces across the country. And this week, four of those stories were honoured by being named as finalists for the Reed Awards, where Campaigns & Elections salutes the best of political communications from the past year.

The finalists include:

Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario: Direct mail

ETFO election postcard

For Ontario teachers, recovery from the Mike Harris era was a slow, painstaking process marked by setbacks and political attacks from the governing Liberals. But even by those standards, PC Leader Tim Hudak‘s agenda of cutting teachers and other school workers was extreme. This piece went into 1.7 million households in swing ridings, exposing the threat posed by Hudak’s plan.

Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario: Web video

This video let us expand on the teachers’ story, explaining how larger class sizes meant less individual attention for students, and making the case for smaller classes. We posted it to YouTube as well as embedding it on the ETFO election website,

Ontario Nurses’ Association: Direct mail

ONA election postcard, side 1

ONA election postcard, side 2

Teachers weren’t the only ones targeted by Tim Hudak’s plan. Nurses—already under strain from ongoing shortages—faced the prospect of even heavier workloads, layoffs and wage and pension cuts. This postcard, delivered to 1.4 million households in swing ridings, helped convince voters that Hudak’s plan would erode patient care and put their families’ health at risk.

BC Teachers’ Federation: Campaign website screen capture

For years, Premier Christy Clark and the BC Liberals repeatedly provoked the BCTF, hoping to trigger a conflict that would swing public sentiment away from teachers. Last year, still riding high on an election victory, the Liberals demanded a 10-year collective agreement locking in the cutbacks and overcrowded classrooms of the past decade. This website, at, helped teachers take the government on, making the most of third-party validation that established both the Liberals’ bad faith and the province’s dismal performance in funding education.

* * *

What really matters, of course, is whether these stories make a difference. And the good news is that they all did.

In Ontario, teachers and nurses helped to defeat Conservatives in all of their targetted ridings. Tim Hudak suffered a huge, leadership-ending defeat as voters rejected not just him, but the conservative public-service-cutting values he campaigned on. And parents throughout BC stood with teachers to a degree that confounded pundits and right-wing strategists alike. The province and the BCTF reached a contract that addresses class size and composition, leaves the teachers’ court victories restoring class-size contract provisions intact, and has a term of just six years, not ten.

We’ll learn who won the Reed Awards on January 23. But as happy as we’d be to see our clients carry home some lovely trophies, we’re satisfied to have helped them tell compelling stories that made a big difference for their members—and the public they serve.

Seven Pollie awards for our clients!

Friday, April 12th, 2013

Pollie Award booklet coverFriday evening was a pretty big night for our clients at the Pollies: the American Association of Political Consultants‘ annual awards ceremony, recognizing the year’s best achievements in political communications.

Our clients dominated the international categories, taking home awards in nearly all of them: direct mail, Internet, radio and television. And while we’re deeply proud of the work we did on those campaigns, but we also know that every one of them was a collaboration. Award-winning creative relies on imagination, strategic smarts and great execution, but it also depends on clients who have clarity, vision and a powerful sense of their mission — on behalf of their members, and for the kind of society we’re building together.

Each of these pieces speaks for workers under attack from their own governments. But each is also unique, speaking to a distinct audience, with its own tone and approach. There’s the uplifting message of CUPE’s “Big Thinking,” the cautionary note from the SGEU in “Erasing Rights,” the call to action the Ontario Federation of Labour sounds in “Gather Round,” and the compassion that comes through in the BC Fed’s “Tough Stuff.” And for a single client, the BC Teachers’ Federation, three distinctive tones calibrated to their message and audience: openness in “Quiet Now,” pointed humour in “Waiting,” and hope and possibility for the “Better Schools” website. (more…)

Six wins at the 2012 Pollie Awards

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

It feels great to pause from the sometimes-frantic pace of work to look at the big picture.

Bringing home six Pollie Awards, including the Gold winner in International TV election spots, is one of those times.
Here’s the haul:

International Candidate TV (Gold) “Christy Crunch” BC NDP
International Candidate TV (Honorable Mention) “Pride” Manitoba NDP
International Direct Mail – Silver “Popular” Canadian Labour Congress
International Public Affairs TV (Bronze) “Phone rings” Saskatchewan Government and General Employees’ Union
International Radio (Bronze) “If they weren’t” Hospital Employees’ Union
International Newspaper (Bronze) “Expert Care” Ambulance Paramedics of BC/CUPE
Congratulations to our wonderful clients! Click the image below to play “Christy Crunch”

Christy Crunch (BC NDP)

Innovative Workplace Nominee, YWCA Women of Distinction Awards

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

We’re thrilled to be an official nominee as an Innovative Workplace as part of YWCA Vancouver’s Women of Distinction Awards. At NOW we’ve done a lot to accommodate women and families at work, and it’s great to be recognized for those efforts. For our part, making work manageable for women and their families just seems like the right thing to do. After all, life is short, and work should be fun.
You can see the full list of nominees here, and check out the auspicious company we’ve landed in, with UBC, McCarthy Tetrault LLP, PwC, and Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers.

7 Pollie Awards international recognition for NOW’s clients

Monday, March 14th, 2011

We’re so proud of our clients and our work together! This weekend, creative work on highway privatization, pension security, parks, public services, and election awareness was recognized with seven international awards.
The Pollie Awards have been called “the Oscars of political advertising” and recognize the best of public affairs and issue advertising.

NOW’s clients won in 5 categories:
International candidate direct mail:
Silver – for the pension leaflet for the Ontario New Democratic Party caucus called “What’s the plan?”
Bronze – for the Manitoba New Democratic Party caucus’ direct mail brochure “Hugh”

International candidate radio:
Silver – for a radio spot on parks privatization done with the SGEU called “Grandpa”

International candidate television:
Honorable mention – for the spot made for the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party called “Balloon”

International public affairs internet campaign:

Bronze – for the anti-privatization campaign site for the SGEU

International public affairs television:
Bronze – for a public services branding spot from the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union called “Commitment”
Honorable mention – for the spot that defines the risks of highways privatization, from the SGEU: “Signs”

Before you get beat-in

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Stay Out of Gangs — English (Government of Manitoba)

'Stay out of gangs' was an ad written and produced for the Government of Manitoba. Focus group tested against other options in Manitoba youth detention centres, it was selected by ex-gang members as the most telling account of what the harsh realities of that life are for youth. This is the English version.

How to talk to young people about risky behaviours? We believe preachy is never effective. Young people in the justice system told us to be frank about the brutal side of gang involvement. Here’s the spot that just took home multiple Summit Creative Awards.

Home care matters to families

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Investing (Manitoba Government Employees’ Union)

Our friends at the MGEU (Manitoba Government Employees' Union) wanted to profile the amazing work their Home Care Workers do. We helped them make this ad to accomplish that goal.

This MGEU TV campaign takes up the cause of the people who provide home care for seniors, people with disabilities and people with mental illness. The public does care about public employees’ working conditions – when they see the connection to them and their families. This spot and 3 others won NOW & the MGEU 3 Summit Awards for Political Broadcast Advertising in 2010.

Second helpings

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

A lot of reasons (Manitoba Health)

This ad by Manitoba Health looks at easy ways to help people reduce their diabetes risk.

Who among us likes to be told how to eat? Nobody likes to hear someone point out our bad choices. But Manitoba Healthy Living took on that tricky assignment when they chose to tackle the problem of diabetes through social marketing.

We think a light tone worked well here, balanced with a frank look at the excuses we all use. Together with an interactive website this spot brought home another social marketing win at the Summit Creative Awards.

Manitoba Signature Award finalists

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Our team is pleased as punch to have developed the creative concepts for 2 of the 3 ads being considered at this year’s Signature Awards (in the “over $20K TV” category).

We always enjoy working with the Government of Manitoba’s communication team and we’re glad they are being recognized for the good work they do. “A lot of reasons” and “Stay out of gangs” tackled diabetes prevention and youth at risk of gang involvement. View them in the portfolio and let us know what you think.