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Take Your Body Back

The First Use of Social Media Marketing for a Class Action in Canada

In 2010, at the referral of a friend in the community, tbk Creative was invited to meet with Siskinds LLP’s Director of Marketing and help them use social media to market a class action legal proceeding.

We were starting to be known for our social media – this at a time when social media was still largely misunderstood or unused by most brands.

Siskinds LLP had commenced a class action legal proceeding against one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies in regards to one of their popular oral contraceptive products.

The allegations of the lawsuit were that consumers were not properly informed of the true risks of using this particular product.

We met with Siskinds LLP and learned more about their situation. They were in a tricky stage of the legal proceeding. They needed to create awareness for their case and acquire class members, and they needed to do it on their budget – not the defendant’s.

Normally, as part of the Plaintiff’s successful trial settlement (or victory), the Defendant would pay for most of the media promotion that helps find entitled class members. In this case, the allegations hadn’t been proven in court and the proceeding was in the beginning stages.

Because of these drawbacks, Siskinds LLP’s media budget was restricted, but they still wanted to find class members and determine the potential size of this issue. They knew they couldn’t afford major publications, like full-page ads in the Toronto Star or Globe and Mail, and they also knew they had to really try and target a younger audience (18-35). Siskinds LLP knew Facebook was the platform for the job, but they needed assistance in order to make it happen.

Creating A Campaign That Had Been Done A Thousand Times

As a group, Siskinds LLP and tbk Creative almost made a decision that would have made the campaign average at best and unsuccessful at worst: we decided to emulate what others were doing in the class action space.

If you’ve ever seen a class action advertisement, it’s usually a lawyer saying something to the tune of “If you’ve been affected by [insert issue], call this number and we can possibly get you some money.”

Initially, we approached our campaign in a similar manner.

We produced a scripted video advertisement where the lead lawyer talked teleprompter-style to a camera for 2-3 minutes, covering everything from what the situation was to discussing who may be affected. We also provided a call to action to become a class member. We had it all planned out: we finished the video, we were going to put it up on YouTube, and we were going to have Facebook advertising accompany it.

Diverting a Disaster

All signals were a go, but two days before the campaign was to go live, something came over Melissa McInerney, our CEO and Creative Director. She realized we missed the mark on the campaign—it wasn’t going to be successful.

“It’s not going to work,” she said. “The message is off. It’s not about being affected and calling a phone number—it’s about women’s rights. Women weren’t given all the information they needed to make an informed decision about their bodies.”

It’s about women’s rights.

Following this insight, tbk Creative re-positioned the message to be about injustice and women empowerment instead of calling a phone number because someone was a victim.

We encapsulated this new position in four words:

Take Your Body Back

With only two days before launching the “safe,” traditional campaign, we requested an emergency meeting with Siskinds LLP.

The marketing and legal team presiding over the class action legal proceeding saw the vision—they knew it was bold and avant-garde for the legal industry, but they liked it. We re-routed things and began developing what would become the new campaign.

Take Your Body Back consisted of:

1

A logo – The logo was meant to be simple but have the word “NO” subtlety laced into it.

tybb-logo-final-1024x391

2

A video – Abandoning the teleprompter idea, we created a more heart-pumping video that was relevant and quickly got to the issue. We put the video on YouTube, as it had no cost, and we picked up additional, organic traffic from Google and people searching through videos on YouTube.

Campaign Video

3

Facebook page – A corporate Facebook page was the key hub to the success of this campaign. It was something advertising couldn’t do alone and it provided a place where people could build a community: Siskinds LLP could share ongoing information about the legal proceeding and the community could talk about their own health issues. Furthermore, on the Facebook page, we provided several hyperlinks where fans could go to a Siskinds LLP landing page and sign up as a potential class member. On a Facebook page of approximately 5,000 fans, over 2,000 visited the landing page from the links we provided.

tybb-facebookpage-new

4

Facebook advertising – Facebook advertising was the sole advertising product to promote the campaign.

5

Media outreach – tbk Creative reached out to local, national, and post-secondary campus media groups across the province to inform the public of the legal proceeding. Over 15 news media groups ran the story.

After about 6 months, the results were in. Siskinds LLP received

  • a substantial increase in new class members.
  • over 5,000 fans.
  • over 5,000 conversions (started on the Facebook page).
  • over 2,000 click throughs (from their Facebook page to their landing page).
  • coverage in local and national media, including CTV, Toronto Star, London Free Press, and the Canadian Press.
  • over 1,000,000 earned media impressions.
  • Winner – “Best Social Media Campaign in the Legal Industry” at the 2012 Internet Advertising Competition.

Best Social Media Campaign in the Legal Industry

2012 Internet Advertising Competition

Former M.P. of London West, Ed Holder, wrote,

“This national campaign initiative has been an instrumental vehicle for empowering women across Canada.”

In a London Free Press article, law professor Jasminka Kalajdzic, a University of Windsor law professor said,

“Ingenious… It is the first example of social media for class actions that I am aware of in Canada.”

What we learned

  • Melissa McInerney, tbk Creative

    Originally, “Take Your Body Back” was not favoured as a concept or idea, however, with my many years of social media experience, and as a member of the target demographic, I believed the concept and campaign would successfully make an impact, reach our target market, and motivate women to act. And that’s exactly what happened. As the project that defined tbk Creative back in our early days, this campaign taught me to stand behind a concept ― even if it’s been rejected. Our company is hired specifically for our expertise and, with the success of this project, I learned how to ensure that our expertise is always brought to the table ― no matter how unpopular the concept may be.

  • Andrew Schiestel, tbk Creative

    We were almost resigned to go with the average and “safe” campaign, but something didn’t feel right. In hindsight, I’m glad we all dove in and followed our guts because following this gut-feeling turned something that would have been good into something that, in Canada's field of social media, could be considered legendary.

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