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A Funny and Effective Ottawa PSA

What do you think of this PSA?

Public Service Announcements (PSAs) sometimes fulfill its corporate responsibility with an ad that can be, frankly, lacklustre. However, Ottawa Public Health has gotten it right. OPH has launched a new social media campaign and it’s captured attention.

Social Media Tactics
The campaign is aimed at youth to increase helmet use in the city of Ottawa. There are online print ads, a YouTube mockumentary video (shown above), and a Twitter hashtag #adoptahelmet. Viewers are encouraged to ‘like’ the video and share it with their friends, and others.

Using humour helps to engage and show more brand personality.
This video is funny. The helmets are personified; each helmet owner talks about the equipment like it is a pet. One subject “interviewed” is addicted to collecting helmets. Their print ads are similar to pet adoption ads – each ad has a different helmet and its personality outline. Below is one example.

I am a ski type helmet

The store staff think I have been in the store now for 7 months.

I was transferred to “Adopt a Helmet” from the factory.

Help “Adopt A Helmet” find a new loving home for me and more helmets like me.

Store Staff made the following comments about this helmet:
Name: Posh
Age: 7 months
Breed: Ski
Color: Black with heart markings
Size: Adult
I love to: play outside in the cold, I’m not really a summer girl.
I have: an eye catching exterior. Many people don’t pay attention to what’s on the inside, but they would be surprised by my warmth and coziness.
I get along well with: stylish winter sports gear, nothing makes me more excited than a well coordinated ski outfit.
I’d rather not: be left in a garage or car trunk when we could be out skiing together.
I need: a stylish owner. “Fashionable always” is my motto, what can I say?


Non-profit and not-for-profit associations are unique.
If you are in charge of communications for one of these types of organizations you know how important it is to focus on the needs of your members or the public. You usually have a goal that is focused on a cause or specialized group rather than for your organization’s own financial profit. So, your challenge is usually to generate awareness, interest and evoke a response typically with limited budgets. This campaign serves as a good example of compelling content. And, it’s also funny.

Get started on your social media campaign.
You can be on your association’s way to drafting your next social media campaign by using careful planning, some creative talents, and knowledge of measurement tools to track your success.

-Sandra Hamway, marketing strategist and founder of Infuse Five
Infuse Five is dedicated to helping associations and small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs), across North America and globally. We offer business results through innovative marketing communications strategies without the need to hire a full time senior specialist. Want more smart marketing tips? Subscribe to our e-newsletter.



Marketing strategist and founder of Infuse Five Infuse Five, based in Ottawa, Canada, helps businesses and associations, across North America, grow. Focus is on innovative marketing and communications strategies. Ottawa marketing customized to fit your specific business needs.

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