Tonight most of Canada will gather for game six of the NBA Finals rooting for the Toronto Raptors, as they attempt to take home the first ever NBA championship outside of the USA. Unless you’ve lived in a cave for the last few years, you’ve heard the “We the North” rallying cry that originally kicked off in 2015. “We the North” has become more than a commercial slogan in southern Ontario, it has become a powerful, movement bringing people together all over the country.
This movement is a perfect, real-world example of what New Moon Ideas coins as Soul Marketing. The Raptors saw the opportunity to take casual observers and turn them into fans, and vaulting existing fans into a new hemisphere of advocacy all based on passion. It’s more than the team or the sport itself – it’s been about providing a fun, relatable, powerful nationwide idea that makes all Canadians from coast-to-coast feel invited to be a part of something larger. Suddenly, all kinds of merchandise with the Raptors logo was being purchased and displayed with honour. The Raptors then kicked up their level of engagement by creating “Jurassic Park” – a place where thousands of people can gather together to support their favourite team. A place with jumbo screens, DJ’s, performers, giveaways and screaming fans. It gave people the opportunity to be a part of the action for nothing more than the cost of their voices from cheering so loud. Once the playoffs kicked off, multiple “Jurassic Parks” started to appear around the country in public parks, bars and parking lots all with the same goal: bringing people together to share their emotions and support their team under one banner – “We The North”. Not sure about you, but this gives us goosebumps even thinking about it.
Kudos to the team at Sid Lee who manufactured this experience! Now the real question, how does any of this relate to Soul Marketing?
While we are not trying to take any credit here, we do want to draw attention to the parallels of our core philosophy. Soul Marketing is about more than the bottom-line sales and numbers. Soul Marketing is about the experience, the engagement, the community, the energy. It’s about taking things to another level and turning your customers into fans and your fans into advocates for your brand because advocates will do more for your business than any amount of advertising, marketing or sales dollars spent. Making a stronger connection with your customers to show them that you don’t just appreciate them, but you GET them creates fandom. When you’re able to achieve an emotional connection with your customer through small gestures or larger experiences, that’s when the magic of advocacy happens and the love begins to spread.
“We the North” has done this for the Toronto Raptors. When was the last time you went on social media and read something about the Raptors? Canada is excited, we’re all included in this incredibly beautiful, community building movement. This is exactly what New Moon Ideas strives to do for our clients – maybe not 30,000+ people gathered around a screen, dripping with your merchandise but definitely creating something much larger from the foundations you have already laid, by turning your costumers into fans and constructing a proud family out of your brand. We design “you had to be there” moments that people talk about, that make them feel like they are a valued member of something so much larger than a conference or event or marketing campaign. Soul Marketing is a pivot on the marketing you probably already do, tied directly to your business objectives and strategy but focused on the people who keep your business pumping – your fans.
What started as a 60 second commercial with an 86-word manifesto shot in Toronto over two days turned into a nationally loved evolution that we know as “We the North”.
“It took a life of its own. It was something people identified with, something people needed – taking the perceived negativity of playing in Toronto and turning it on its head and making it a positive.” – Sid Lee executive director, Jeffrey Da Silva who was behind the campaign.
Think your business needs some Soul Marketing? Start with finding out your soul marketing score for free here, it only takes about 10-15 minutes of your time – we recommend some time before tip-off at 9:00pm EST. Where are you watching the game tonight? GO RAPTORS GO!