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The social side of Stampede: From flapjacks to Snapchats

|July 08, 2016
Written by

Matthew Bardsley

Jenn De Minico, a designer with the NATIONAL Studio in Calgary, and Maddie Alvarez from the PR team, spent more time on their iPhones in the past few weeks than they have all year.

After an introduction to Snapchat (an app Jenn learned about from her PR peers while developing the creative for NATIONAL’s social media workbooks and training sessions), they became obsessed with the design potential of geofilters, these customized overlays designed to enhance a picture being shared on the platform while also pinpointing the location of posting.

Following testing and research, Jenn and Maddie reached out to colleague Kristi Strowbridge of the Halifax office to chat about all things Snapchat. Kristi had been working on a filter for a local hockey tournament and had learned a few things along the way.

For those who are unfamiliar, Snapchat is an app used to send time-sensitive “messages that will self-destruct or erase once viewed” to friends via direct message. At its inception, it was a teenager’s rebellion app, but has now been recognized by a wider audience for its power to capture and share authentic moments.

With the annual Calgary Stampede rolling into town and sparking interest in the region, brands are looking for ways to leverage their involvement with the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.

Jenn received a call from long-standing Calgary client, TransAlta, who wanted to amplify their sponsorship of the Grandstand show, a nightly celebration with fireworks following rodeo events.

With Jenn’s strategic counsel, and the support of fellow designer Patrick Breton, TransAlta now has a branded Snapchat geofilter that will be available at Grandstand shows during the full Stampede season and then shared with the online world.

For a nominal investment, TransAlta’s brand will be joyfully shared around the globe, overlaid on photos of rodeo livestock, smiling faces and fireworks.

The design and success of this filter is a result of collaboration across the NATIONAL network, and the strategic counsel we provide to clients every day. We develop strategies that transcend individual issues, industries and audiences in order to unify complex moving parts into a streamlined, cohesive final product.

——— Written by Matthew Bardsley, former Consultant, NATIONAL Public Relations

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