As part of a five-year marketing plan, the Strathcona Business Improvement Association wanted to lead the public perception of the changing Strathcona neighbourhood by being the first to communicate their message and brand to the public. With so many exciting local businesses making a home in Strathcona, it was time to lead the pack and introduce the area as the hidden gem it was.


We created and developed the “Made In Strathcona” brand and promoted it with various elements including: Website, Media Planning and Buying, PR, Social Media, and Public Tours of local businesses. Each element promoted the message that the SBIA wanted to convey: “Strathcona is a celebrated Vancouver community where independent businesses come to thrive.” With the overarching goal of perception shifting, “Made In Strathcona” prioritized reach and overall impressions. Thus, the campaign’s limited resources and overall messaging and approach catered towards earned media.


We had to decipher the authentic connections the public would connect with, which included topics like “supporting local”, and “hidden gems” which would attract not just anyone to the neighbourhood, but people who shared similar values with the SBIA. Our pursuit to find a genuine connection with the public paid large dividends as individuals began to connect with Strathcona in unprecedented ways. Our campaign worked to actively educate and engage the community and the SBIA members to on the thriving local businesses ‘making it’ in Strathcona. We created an event that shed positive light on the area, which was often bogged down by negative press due to the DTES homelessness crisis. By creating something share-worthy, we saw the media begin sharing Strathcona’s message and celebrating it as well.


The campaign surpassed all initial measurements with over 15 million impressions from over 30 different outlets including television, print, and digital. Limited resources were maximized with the creation of over 15 life-sized “destination pins” that acted as banner ads placed on local business properties. “Made In Strathcona” also received an average of 15 tweets per day and over 12,000 web page views in just over three weeks. Following the campaign, we were able to attract new businesses with the same values to join the community and make their home in Strathcona. The campaign received Gold at the Hermes Creative Awards – an international marketing competition.

Impressions from over 30 different outlets
Page views in just over 3 weeks
Creative awards
"I was most impressed with their determination to see the project succeed not only our standards but theirs, which arguably was higher than ours."
-Joji Kumagai, Executive Director,
Strathcona Business Improvement Association