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October 27 , 2009


Canada Post goes viral with video contest aimed at increasing product line awareness
CPC leverages employees to talk about their products and services

By Amy Bostock, Editor

Realizing that they had to look beyond traditional advertising methods in order to stay relevant, Canada Post Corporation is harnessing the power of social media – and their employees - to reach a wider audience.

Until October 31 you can watch homemade commercials, submitted by Canada Post employees, on YouTube and vote for your favourite. The winner will receive a trip for two to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. There are also video cameras and Visa gift cards up for grabs in this unique contest.

“The idea for the contest came from the realization that we weren’t leveraging our greatest asset,” says Donna Reid, Direct Marketing, Canada Post Corporation. “And that’s our 62,000 employees across Canada. We talked about how to get them excited and engaged and decided to have them make commercials about four of our lesser known products.”

In the Super Fun Make a Commercial and Win an Awesome Prize contest, employees were asked top promote Xpress Post, Picture Postage, ePost and Smart Moves. The videos were submitted by September 30 and the top 12 English and top 12 French commercials were chosen as finalists.

“We were expecting to get about 50 submissions,” says Reid, “but we ended up with 120 videos and over 150,000 views on YouTube. It was insanely successful.”

Using a wide array of digital tools, including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, Canadians are invited to tell Canada Post which video they like the best. A video’s rating, along with the number of times it has been viewed, will determine the winner.

So why the move to social media?

“For about a year we’ve been figuring out how to bring social media to Canada Post in a way that it’s meaningful to what we do,” says Brian Beehler, Manager, Social Media at Canada Post. “The YouTube idea was a great way for us to get something sparked virally.”

They also integrated Facebook and Twitter tools into the contest, asking people to post comments in an effort to engage users.

“Social media is also a great way for us to engage our employees across the country quickly,” says Beehler. “I think this will help change the culture at Canada Post.”

The employees have really embraced the contest, some even putting up posters and placing ads in newspapers to drum up support for their video

On November 9, Canada Post will launch their internal Facebook model that will allow employees to connect with each other internally. They’ll also be able to have access from home.

“In the next six months to a year you’ll see more and more integration of social media into our marketing plans,” says Beehler. “We’ve formed a social media committee and we’re looking at ways to use the tools in order to bring value to our customers.”

“The marketing group is really excited about this,” says Reid, “because in the end it’s all about staying relevant.”

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